The PMI for euro area manufacturing, drawn up by research firm IHS Markit, is close to its all-time high in November. Production and new orders continue to grow at a steady pace, with expansion rates also recovering from October. Combined with a record increase in new export orders, this trend leads to the strongest employment growth since the survey began in June 1997.
The index stood at 60.1 in November, its second highest level in history after the April 2000 high. Recovering slightly from its last flash estimate (60.0), the stock index thus signals an expansion of overall activity for the 53rd consecutive month.
Growth strengthened in the three sub-sectors covered by the November survey, with capital goods and consumer goods manufacturers recording the strongest and weakest increase in activity, respectively. In the intermediate goods sector, activity recorded its strongest historical growth.
The same PMI is at or near a record high in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Ireland.
Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at IHS Markit, comments on the latest PMI figures: "PMI indices are recovering in all the countries covered by the survey, with the euro area manufacturing sector recording its strongest growth since the peak of growth linked to the Internet bubble more than 17 years ago. The region's economic expansion rate is also at its second highest level in history, surpassed only once (in April 2000) during the 20-year survey. »