05/03/14 16:09 CET
| updated xx mn ago
| updated at xx
Some positive economic news for the eurozone, with new figures suggesting the region’s economy is on course to grow by 0.4 to 0.5 percent in the first three months of this year
Surveys of thousands of companies by the financial information firm Markit show private businesses enjoyed their fastest growth rate in over two and a half years last month.
It was though a mixed picture as manufacturing growth slowed, while the service industry expanded quicker than had been initially calculated from the first reading of the February data.
And there was big geographic variation. The gulf between expansion in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, and the decline in No. 2 France has only been wider once in the 16-year history of the surveys.
Germany’s composite purchasing manager’s index compiled from the surveys – which includes services and manufacturing – soared to a 33-month high.
By contrast France’s fell further below the line between expansion and contraction where it has languished for most of the past two years.
Italy and Spain, the third and fourth biggest economies in the bloc, both had robust growth.
At the same time Eurostat, the EU’s statistics agency, revealed that retail sales in the eurozone rose by a monthly rate of 1.6 percent in January, more than offsetting the previous month’s 1.3 percent decline.
European Central Bank ponders deflation
This comes just one day before the European Central Bank was due to announce its latest policy decisions.
President Mario Dragi will, however, get little comfort on deflation from these numbers as businesses had to to cut prices for the 22nd straight month to drum up demand.
Inflation across the currency union was just 0.8 percent in February, well below the ECB’s 2.0 percent target ceiling.
Just ahead of Thursday’s meeting International Monetary Fund officials said the ECB should cut interest rates and either inject more liquidity into the banking system via its Long-Term Refinancing Operations (LTRO) or start public and private asset purchases.
“You can have too much of a good thing, including low inflation,” Reza Moghadam, the head of the IMF’s European Department said in a blog.
- 1Britain’s economy slows as trade hit by global decline
- 2Copernicus: down-to-Earth opportunities for SMEs reaching for the stars
- 3More shoppers go online for Black Friday bargains
- 4Summer tourism helps Spain’s economy grow more than other eurozone countries
- 5Spain’s solar energy firm Abengoa begins insolvency proceedings
- 1Russia-Turkey trade in question as Moscow to ‘reconsider’ ties with Ankara
- 2New 20 euro notes come into play on Wednesday
- 3Nestlé praised for admitting slave labour used in Thai supply chain
- 4Spain’s solar energy firm Abengoa begins insolvency proceedings
- 5Germany won’t lower minimum wage for migrants, says economy minister Gabriel
- 1Coordinated terror attacks leave dozens dead in Paris
- 2euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 31000-year-old Bible found in Turkey
- 4Bomb and several shootings in central Paris – reports of fatalities and injuries
- 5International news | euronews, latest international news
- 6Police hunting Paris attacks mastermind battle with suspects in heart of Paris
- 7latest sci-tech news : euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 8European Union News | euronews: latest breaking news and headlines about European Union
- 9Thousands in Bucharest blame corruption for Friday’s nightclub blaze
- 10Hope vs harsh reality: challenges to global education goals in the 21st century
- 11New temporary spiritual leader of Muslim Brotherhood appointed
- 12world Weather | euronews: world ten day weather forecast
- 13‘Anonymous’ hackers’ group declares ‘war’ on ISIL
- 14Latest sport news
- 15‘Maxed-out:’ Jordan’s King Abdullah II’s frank warning over Syria crisis
- 16Middle East - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 17International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 18Romanians’ cold revolt against corruption
- 19Latest News Bulletin
- 20No Comment | euronews: international news images without commentary
latest economy news
Britain’s economy slows as trade hit by global decline
More shoppers go online for Black Friday bargains
Athens ‘agrees new measures’ to secure next bailout funds
Will anti-austerity Portugal become the new Greece?
Summer tourism helps Spain’s economy grow more than other eurozone countries
Wires > Business
- 20:15 CET Greek central bank chief says need political consensus to end debt…
- 15:58 CET VW knew fuel usage in some cars was too high a year ago – Bild am…
- 15:16 CET European Commission approves Greek government aid to Piraeus Bank
- 10:10 CET UK banks await turn of credit screw by Bank of England
- 01:43 CET BoE’s Vlieghe says ‘relaxed’ about waiting to hike rates
- 01:42 CET China’s shadow banking risk shifts to booming bond market
- 16:22 CET Lufthansa agrees on pay with ground personnel – Verdi union
- 05:58 CET Exclusive: Lazard works with Sanofi on $12.7 billion animal health…