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Economy in Brief

Euro Area MFG PMIs Drop
by Robert Brusca March 2, 2009

Despite the slippage some consolidation is evident.

Germany Spain and Austria were among the ground hogs that left their heads in February and did not scurry lower for the winter. There, MFG PMIs managed to stay higher even though for most of the region manufacturing was seeing darker days in February. France, a country that had been holding off the declines succumbed in February with its MFG index dropping to 34.81 from 37.90; Ireland’s MFG sector made a similarly large drop. EMU as a whole, France, Ireland and The Netherlands this month sport MFG PMI readings that are the lowest ever. The UK, Italy and Germany each are less than 1% up from their respective lows. To be sure it remains a very weak February for European manufacturing. But the good news is that the downturn is NOT getting worse in several key countries and that the pace of deterioration where things are unraveling is largely slowing. France and Ireland are to be taken as notable exceptions. Looks like the Irish have run out of luck and the French continue to buck the trends to which everyone else is subject.

NTC/Markit MFG Indices
  Feb-09 Jan-09 Dec-08 3Mo 6Mo 12Mo Percentile
Euro-13 33.55 34.42 33.87 33.95 37.25 43.41 0.0%
Germany 32.14 31.96 32.66 32.25 37.11 44.84 0.7%
France 34.81 37.90 34.91 35.87 38.08 43.75 0.0%
Italy 34.99 36.06 35.54 35.53 37.61 42.55 0.2%
Spain 31.85 31.51 28.49 30.62 32.37 37.65 11.7%
Austria 34.58 33.12 35.01 34.24 38.40 43.95 5.7%
Ireland 33.20 38.94 37.87 36.67 38.42 41.62 0.0%
Netherlands 35.47 36.29 38.42 36.73 40.41 45.62 0.0%
EU
UK 34.68 35.79 34.94 35.14 36.94 42.26 0.2%
percentile is over range since March 2000
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