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Economy in Brief

April Manufacturing PMI For Euro-Area Still Strong
by Louise Curley   May 2, 2011

The Purchasing Managers Index for manufacturing in the Euro Area recovered in April some of the momentum lost in March. Although the index declined in March it remained in the expansion zone, that is over 50%. The index increased in April by 0.4550 percentage points to 57.9526% from 57.4976% in March. Moreover, the final estimate of 57.9526 was .2124 percentage points above the flash estimate, 57.7402, released on April 19th. This suggests that purchasing managers became more optimistic as the month wore on. Flash estimates are available only for the total Euro Area and France and Germany. Like the final estimate for the Euro Area, those for France and Germany were higher than the Flash estimates released earlier in the month.

The indexes continue well above the 50% level indicating that the expansion continues. Among the countries contributing to the increase in manufacturing activity in April were Germany, France and the Netherlands. The index for the Netherlands rose 1.0798 percentage points; the index for France, 2.1568 points and the index for Germany, 1.0303 points. The PMIs for these countries and the total Euro Area are shown in the attached chart.

As can be seen in the chart, the PMI for manufacturing in the Euro Zone is currently only slightly below its all time high in April 2000. The PMI for France is still below its all time peak of May 2000, but that for the Netherlands is very close to its peak in July 2006 and that for Germany is just a bit short of its all time peak reached in February of this year.

Purchasing Managers' Survey for Manufacturing (%) Apr 11 Mar 11 M/M Change
 Euro Area 57.9526 .57.4976 0.4550
  Netherlands 59.2017 58.1219 1.0798
  France 57.5144 55.3576 2.1568
  Germany 61.9601 60.9298 1.0303
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