The latest Eurozone Composite Business Index - which covers both the manufacturing and services sectors within the Eurozone - reports growth for the second consecutive month in March.

The eight nation Eurozone comprises Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Austria, Ireland, Greece and the Netherlands (plus the UK, Poland and the Czech Republic for the EU data), covering over 6,000 manufacturing and services companies.

Key findings from the March 2005 indices are ...

  • Output
    This fell from 53.1 in February to 52.5 in March. At a level above the 50.0 no-change mark, the index registered an expansion of private sector output for the twentieth consecutive month, but the decline in the index pointed to an easing in the rate of growth for the second month running to the weakest seen since last December.

  • New Business
    The index registered 51.0 in March, down from 52.3 in February to signal the smallest improvement in demand for goods and services since last November. The rate of increase slowed for the second month running in both manufacturing and service sectors.

  • Input Prices
    This index fell further from October's four-year peak of 66.9, dropping from 61.0 in February to 58.5, indicating the weakest rate of cost inflation for thirteen months (though one above the survey's long-run average).

  • Employment
    At 50.1 in March, the index was unchanged from February, signalling a stagnation of staffing levels. As seen over the past eight months, a modest rise in service sector employment contrasted with a net loss of jobs in manufacturing.
The Eurozone Purchasing Managers' Indices are researched and published by NTC Research of the UK, one of the world's largest specialist providers of original economic data. The indices provide the earliest indication of business conditions in the Eurozone.

The eleven nations surveyed account for an estimated 92% of total Eurozone gross domestic product. Questions are asked about real events and are not opinion based.

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