Latest data released by Markit – 1 April 2021
There were record increases observed in output, new orders, exports and purchasing activity. The only downside is rising input costs – fastest in over a decade – as a result of unprecedented dents to the supply chain, not helped by the Suez Canal issue surely.
Markit notes that:
“Eurozone manufacturing is booming, with
production and order books growing at rates
unprecedented in nearly 24 years of PMI survey
history during March. “Although centred on Germany, which saw a
particularly strong record expansion during the
month, the improving trend is broad based across
the region as factories benefit from rising domestic
demand and resurgent export growth.
“Driving the upturn has been a marked improvement
in business confidence in recent months, with
expectations of growth in the year ahead running at
record highs in February and March. This has not
only boosted spending but has also led to rising
investment and restocking, as firms prepare for even
stronger demand following the vaccine roll-out.
“The picture is blighted, however, by record supply
chain disruptions, which will likely be exacerbated
further by delays arising from the Suez Canal
blockage. Prices are already rising at the fastest rate
for a decade as demand outstrips supply, resulting
in a sellers’ market for many goods.
“While the forces driving prices higher appear to be
temporary, linked to the initial rebound from COVID19 lockdowns, any further upward pressure on firms’
costs and selling prices is unwelcome.
“Encouragingly, the recent expansion of output
means production in the eurozone is likely to have
surpassed its pre-COVID peak, and hiring has
already accelerated markedly as producers seek to
build additional capacity to meet higher demand.”