- Employers hiring extra staff at the fastest rate for over four-and a-half years
- Flash Eurozone Manufacturing PMI at 53.1, 20-month high
- Flash Eurozone Services PMI at 53.9, below expectations and a 3 month low
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The Euro was little changed (at the time this report was written) versus its major currency counterparts after today’s Flash Markit Eurozone PMI printed mixed figures. The Eurozone PMI Composite Output Index came at 54.0, below the prior and expected figure of 54.2. The Services PMI Activity Index dropped to 53.9, below the November 54.2 prior reading, and the expected reading of 54.0. Manufacturing PMI rose to 53.1, above the prior and expected figure of 52.8, signaling a 20-month high. The Euro-Zone reading came after earlier today the France and German Markit PMI figures showed pickup in manufacturing and a drop in Services. A reading of less than 50 indicates a contraction of activity, above 50 points to an expansion, and an index of50 says that no change has occurred.
Markit remarked that the expansion seen in December was sufficient to complete the strongest quarter of growth recorded by the survey for four-and-a-half years, with both sectors (Services and Manufacturing) showing overall rate of employment growth was at the highest level since May 2011. Interestingly, input costs rose due to higher import prices arising from a weaker euro and some evidence of increased wages. Markit commented that policymakers are likely to remain disappointed by the relatively modest pace of expansion and lack of inflationary pressures, but the upturn in the rate of job creation may see the pace of GDP growth rising in the coming months. Overall the report suggests a GDP rise of 1.5% in 2015, according to Markit.