Eurozone factory sector softens

|By:, SA News Editor

Eurozone manufacturing PMI slipped to 53 in March (flash 53) from 53.2 in February.

French PMI returned to expansion territory and hit a 33-month high, and Spain and Ireland continued to roar ahead, but German growth eased and Greece dipped back into contraction.

The survey indicates that production rose 1% in Q1 and GDP 0.5%.

However, a renewed fall in factory gate prices, and signs of slower output and order-book growth "are a reminder that a self-sustaining recovery is not yet in place and reliant at least in part on price discounting to win sales," says Markit. "Such deflationary signals will continue to spook policymakers and raise the likelihood of further stimulus from the ECB."

The euro jumps a bit following the PMIs and is +0.15% at $1.3791. (PR)