Eurozone manufacturing growth continues, France remains a worry

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Eurozone manufacturing growth continues, France remains a worry

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New business surveys show the recovery in eurozone manufacturing accelerating.

At the start of the second quarter there was solid growth across most of the region, although French factories struggled to maintain momentum

Surveys of thousands of company purchasing managers showed growth was again led by Europe’s largest economy, Germany,

But firms in Spain and Italy also reported business picked up last month.

However at the same time separately released data showed unemployment in the eurozone fell only slightly to 11.8 percent of the workforce in March, still near a record high.

The final Eurozone Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 53.4 last month from March’s 53.0. That was slightly better than the flash reading of 53.3 and marked the tenth month the index has been above the 50 level that separates growth from contraction.

An earlier PMI from Germany showed improving growth. Italy’s PMI soared to a three-year high and Spain’s slipped just one basis point from March’s near four-year high.

France’s main index slumped to 51.2 from 52.1, although still holding above the break-even level for a second month.