Eurozone March final services PMI 49.6 vs 48.8 prelim

Latest data released by Markit – 7 April 2021

  • Composite PMI 53.2 vs 52.5 prelim
The preliminary report can be found here. Some modest upside revisions to the final readings as also seen in the earlier French and German reports. The composite reading is the highest since last July as economic activity stabilised towards the end of Q1.

The manufacturing sector continues to take the lead with services activity seen improving slightly amid tighter restrictions. That may yet remain the case in Q2 as the virus situation continues to pose a threat for the time being. Markit notes that:

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“Eurozone business activity bounced back in
March, returning to growth after four months of
decline with an even stronger expansion than
signaled by the forecast-beating ‘flash’ data.

“Manufacturing is booming, led by surging
production in Germany, and the hard-hit service
sector has come close to stabilizing as optimism
about the outlook improved further during the
month. Firms’ expectations of growth are running at
the highest for just over three years amid growing
hopes that the vaccine roll-out will boost sales in
the coming months.

“Strengthening demand has already led to the
largest rise in backlogs of uncompleted work seen
for almost three years, encouraging increasing
numbers of firms to take on additional staff.
Improving labour markets trends should help further
lift consumer confidence and spending as we head
into the second quarter.

“The survey therefore indicates that the economy
has weathered recent lockdowns far better than
many had expected, thanks to resurgent
manufacturing growth and signs that social
distancing and mobility restrictions are having far
less of an impact on service sector businesses than
seen this time last year. This resilience suggests
not only that companies and their customers are
looking ahead to better times, but have also
increasingly adapted to life with the virus.”

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