HENLEY-ON-THAMES, UK: The Eurozone Composite Output Index recorded 56.9 last month, signalling a strong expansion of the private sector economy and an increase in business activity for the forty-fifth consecutive month.

Expansion dipped very slightly to the weakest rate in fifteen months, reflecting slower rates of growth in both manufacturing and services.

Key findings for April 2007 were:

  • New orders
    These rose for the forty-fifth successive month. The rate of growth slowed marginally, as very slightly faster growth in services was offset by a reduced rate of increase in manufacturing, but remained little changed on the average seen in Q1.

  • Backlogs of work
    Backlogs continued to increase at a rate well above the long-run average of the survey, though well down on the peak seen last year, as companies struggled to cope with current workloads. The rise in April was the largest since last November.

  • Employment
    Growth slipped only very slightly from March's nine-month high, signalling the twentieth successive monthly rise. The recent growth of employment has been the strongest sustained rise seen over the past six years.

  • Input price inflation
    This continued to run at a rate well above the survey's long-run average, with the rate of increase identical to that seen in the previous two months.

  • Prices
    Average prices charged for goods and services rose for the twentieth successive month. The rate of inflation eased further from January's survey record rate to a four-month low, but continued to run at a pace substantially above the survey's long run average as firms sought to pass higher costs on to customers.
The Purchasing Managers' Index Report on Eurozone is produced for The Royal Bank of Scotland by NTC Research. It features original survey data collected from a representative panel of over 5000 companies across the euro area manufacturing and service sectors.

For further information on the Eurozone indices, click here.

Data sourced from NTC Research (UK); additional content by WARC staff