Euroland Manufacturing flash PMI increased from 52.4 to 54.1 in February thus beating expectations (consensus 52.6, Danske 52.7) while service PMI declined to 52.0 from 52.5 (Consensus 52.5, Danske 52.6). Manufacturing PMI is now at the highest level since August 2007.
Composite new orders were flat at 53.6, but manufacturing new orders increased slightly from 56.0 to 56.5 and manufacturing new export orders increased strongly from 53.8 to 56.0 – the highest level since December 2006.
Inventories of finished goods increased slightly from 44.5 to 44.9 and inventories of stocks purchases were almost unchanged – up from 45.4 to 45.5. The order-inventory balance is thus coming down indicating that the pull from the inventory cycle is slowing.
Employment expectations increased strongly driven by a jump in manufacturing employment expectations from 43.9 to 47.0 and a moderate increase in service sector employment expectations from 47.5 to 48.4. The composite index is now at the highest level since September 2008.
German composite PMI increased from 54.2 to 55.4 and German manufacturing PMI increased massively to 57.1 from 53.4. This is a very comforting indication that the German rebound is still on track despite the lack of growth in Q4. The manufacturing subcomponents show that new orders and in particular new export orders increased strongly while stocks where almost unchanged. German service PMI increased from 51.2 to 51.7. German manufacturing sector employment expectations spiked from 42.1 to 47.3. Composite PMI indicates a stable German labour market.
French PMI composite index fell to 55.7 from 58.0 previously. This is the lowest level in five months, but still signalling strong growth. Manufacturing PMI fell from 55.4 to 54.6 and service PMI fell from 56.3 to 54.7. New manufacturing orders declined from 58.8 to 55.1 – the lowest level since August last year. New export orders increased slightly. At the same time the indices for stocks of both purchases and finished goods increased notably, thus the prospects of a growth contribution from the inventory cycle are diminishing. Employment expectations in the manufacturing sector improved from 46.4 to 49.3 and are thus very close to signalling a labour market stabilisation in France.