What better record to start the year ? According to figures from the firm IHS Markit, published on Tuesday 2 January, the industry of the euro area makes sparks. In December, the PMI index of purchasing managers in the manufacturing sector has indeed peaked with 60.6 : the never-seen since the launch of this indicator, in 1997.
Industrial activity has registered a strong increase in most of the member countries, driven by historic levels of production and new orders. “What allow to the manufacturers of the member countries to tackle the next few months on a solid footing,” stresses Chris Williamson, chief economist at IHS Markit.
After a year in 2017 promising, 2018 will be a good year for the european economy ? Most economic analysts show themselves to be optimistic. “The next twelve months will be even better than the previous ones,” said Stephanie Villers, chief economist of Humanis.
“A year ago, nobody imagined that the european industry would of if good foot,” says James Nixon, from Oxford Economics. At the time, the consensus was sealed by the Brexit, and the fear that it weighs on the growth of the euro area. “
But it has held up well. Better : after some difficult years, marked by doubt and the aftermath of the 2008 crisis, confidence has finally made its return to the member countries. The populists have not been successful breakthrough policy as feared – at least in France. Thanks to the upswing of world trade, the order books of the companies are met. As a result, they have begun to hire and to invest.
Household consumption, meanwhile, has picked up, driven by the decline in unemployment. Since 2013, the euro area has created 7 million jobs, although employment has regained its pre-crisis level in the first half of 2017.