Europe finds itself in a rare period when every member state’s economy is growing, and in the Eurozone group of single currency users the growth rate appears to be strengthening.
Businesses are growing at their fastest rate in nearly six years, and such is the force behind the figures, supported by healthy consumer confidence and spending, that the ECB
is finding it harder to ignore the voices getting louder calling for an interest rate rise.
The ECB has noted rising energy costs and an uptick in inflation that could allow it to tighten monetary policy without strangling growth, but the ECB has been criticised for not doing enough to stimulate growth in the past, and will be reluctant to open itself to criticism it rose rates too soon.
The Purchasing managers’ index on which this latest confidence-boosting news is based reflects overall economic health. Flash surveys for the two economic giants Germany and France suggested even stronger performances were in the pipeline.