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Economy in Brief

 Purchasing Managers in Europe Report Good Improvement in the Manufacturing Sector
by Louise Curley April 3, 2006

Manufacturing PMI's (Purchasing Manager's Indexes) were released today by NTC Research, Ltd. The index for the Euro Zone has been in an expansion mode (i.e. above 50) since last July. The March figure released today, 56.07, was the highest since September, 2000 as can be seen in the first chart. All of the Euro Zone members surveyed by NTC Research except the Netherlands, showed increases in March over February.

NTC Research also surveys the non Euro Zone countries--Czech Republic, Poland and Russia. In March, the PMI for the Czech Republic showed a small increase while those for Poland and Russia showed decline. All three countries, however, are still in an expansion mode.

Over the next two days, NTC Research will publish diffusion indexes for the service and construction industries. At that time they will produce their Gross Domestic Product Indicator, which is based on a weighted combination of the three industries. The GDP indicator has proved to be a fairly good indicator of the year to year changes in real GDP as can be seen in the second chart.

March 2006 February 2006 % Change
Euro Zone 56.07 54.47  2.9
France 54.57 52.22  4.5
Germany 58.09 55.86  4.0
Italy 55.47 55.11  0.7
Spain 54.74 52.75  3.8
Ireland 52.64 52.42  0.4
Netherlands 56.18 56.97 -1.4
Austria 56.52 54.46  3.8
Other Europe
Czech Republic 55.74 55.10  1.2
Poland 51.97 52.93 -1.8
Russia 52.48 53.63 -2.1
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