The European purchasing managers’ index is indicating that the positive economic situation in the Eurozone will continue in Q3. Following somewhat weaker mood indicator values in previous months, service providers became more optimistic in September again. Industry looks set to remain in a strong position, assuming an increasingly important role as the driving force behind the economy. The high external value of the euro does not appear to be playing a role in this. While purchasing managers’ assessments – reflected in the composite index – were on average certainly lower in Q3 than in the previous quarter, survey responses are still clearly pointing towards growth.
The cumulated Eurozone composite index rose from 55.7 index points to 56.7 index points, which is the highest value for four months. Both the mood barometer for the service sector and the industrial index made gains in this regard. For industry, the value recorded was the highest it had been for 77 months. The incoming orders situation, production and employment intentions are all rated very favourably. The strong economic recovery is hardly in any danger during Q3.
German purchasing managers also remain very optimistic in September. In the industrial sector, the mood barometer rose by 1.7 points, with preliminary data suggesting this has risen to 61.8 index points. The service sector was also able to lay to rest the weaker phase it endured over the past few months and is now noticeably more optimistic. Together, both sectors boosted growth in the composite index in Germany by two points to 57.8 points in September. In total, the quarter average is certainly somewhat below that recorded in Q2, although the Q3 2017 survey responses indicate a strong GDP growth rate once again.
The French economy is also very confident based on the survey responses. The comprehensive composite index improved and stood at 57.2 points in September, after 55.2 index points in the previous month. This significant improvement in sentiment is attributable to the service sector, which had experienced a somewhat weaker phase in the three previous months. However, in September, the index for service providers was able to recover from the slight dip. The mood barometer for industry improved again, recording growth for the fourth consecutive month. The overall high level of the composite index is still fanning the flames of optimism with regard to a continuation of economic growth in France, even if on average in Q3 it was slightly down on Q2.