Eurozone manufacturing activity growth slowed only slightly in December as there was further easing of the supply chain crisis, final data from IHS Markit showed on Monday.
The factory Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 58.0 in December from 58.4 in November. The score matched the flash estimate.
Output growth remained unchanged from that seen in November and new orders increased at the joint-weakest rate since January. Nonetheless, average lead times lengthened to the softest extent since February.
Greater volumes of outstanding work coincided with a faster increase in employment in December.
The rates of input cost and output price inflation eased at the end of the year, but remained among the fastest ever seen by the survey.
“We’re now facing a fresh bout of economic uncertainty as the Omicron variant emerges in Europe,” Joe Hayes, a senior economist at IHS Markit said. “COVID-19-driven supply chain disruptions cannot be ruled out, and therefore neither can further spikes in inflation.”
Survey data split by country showed Italy once again leading broad euro area manufacturing growth. Meanwhile, France’s goods-producing sector remained the weakest-growing of the eight monitored Eurozone nations.
German manufacturing production continued to be held back by supply constraints in December. The final factory PMI remained unchanged at 57.4, but down from the flash reading of 57.9.
Although France’s manufacturing output, new orders and stocks of purchases all moved higher, these were more than offset by weaker employment growth and a slower rate of deterioration in supplier performance.
The final factory PMI came in at 55.6 in December, down from 55.9 in the previous month. The flash reading was 54.9.
The Italian manufacturing sector recorded another month of steep growth. The PMI dropped to 62.0 from 62.8 in the prior month. The consensus score was 61.5.
Spain’s manufacturing sector continued to expand during December, although difficulties in the procurement of inputs and rapid inflation continued to curtail growth. The PMI slid to 56.2, as expected, from 57.1 a month ago.
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