Saturday

15th May 2021

Eurozone edging towards economic recovery

  • Heading back to growth? (Photo: Images of Money)

The eurozone appears to be edging towards economic recovery, according to data published on Wednesday (24 July).

Statistics firm Markit revealed that its purchasing managers' index (PMI), which measures economic conditions based on data from thousands of companies, hit its highest level in 18 months in July.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

It rose to 50.4, up from 48.7 in June, driven by increased output from private sector companies in France and Germany. It is the first time that the index has cleared 50, which marks the tipping point between recession and growth, since January 2012.

Manufacturing data was particularly encouraging.

Data from Germany, the bloc's largest economy, indicated that the country's traditionally strong manufacturing sector rose to 52.8 from June's 50.4, the strongest reading since February this year.

Meanwhile, France's manufacturing sector also came close to posting growth, with a PMI of 49.8 (up from 48.4 in June), itself a 17-month high. The news has prompted the Bank of France to project that the country's economy grew by 0.2 percent in the second quarter of 2013, potentially bringing an end to its recession.

However, unemployment in France hit a record high in June, according to statistics also published on Wednesday.

The country's jobless total rose by 0.5 per cent to 3.279 million, an increase of 14,900 people from May, in news that deals a blow to President Francois Hollande's pledge to reduce unemployment by the year's end.

Hollande is coming under increasing pressure from Brussels to bring down France's budget deficit and shake up its labour market and from his governing socialist party to increase employment.

But unemployment tends to be a lagging economic indicator. Increases in business confidence and output are unlikely to be reflected in improved labour market figures for between three and six months.

EU bumps up growth forecast, amid jobless recovery

The European Commission has revised upwards slightly its growth forecast for the eurozone and the whole of the EU in 2011. However, the good news is tempered with the knowledge that the employment situation has remained effectively flat since last January.

Eurozone economic confidence rises

Economic confidence in the 17-nation eurozone rose in July reaching the highest point since April last year. But eurozone unemployment stays record high.

EU recovery "gaining ground", commission says

The EU's economic recovery will gather speed in 2014 and 2015, the EU commission has said, indicating that the worst of the economic storm which hit Europe is over.

EU aims at 'zero pollution' in air, water and soil by 2050

The European Commission unveiled a plan to reduce pollution to levels that are no longer harmful to human health and natural ecosystems by 2050 - including reducing the number of premature deaths caused by air pollution by 55 percent.

News in Brief

  1. No EUobserver newsletter on Friday 14 May
  2. Germany stops Facebook gathering WhatsApp data
  3. Italy rebuts reports of EU deal with Libya
  4. MEPs demand EU states protect women's reproductive rights
  5. At least nine dead in Russia school shooting
  6. Bulgaria interim government appointed until July election
  7. German priests defy pope to bless same-sex couples
  8. New EU public prosecutor faults Slovenia

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region can and should play a leading role in Europe’s digital development
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council to host EU webinars on energy, digitalisation and antibiotic resistance

Latest News

  1. EU aims at 'zero pollution' in air, water and soil by 2050
  2. French police arrest Luxembourg former top spy
  3. Vaccine drives spur better-than-expected EU economic recovery
  4. Slovenia causing headaches for new EU anti-graft office
  5. 'No place to hide' in Gaza, as fighting escalates
  6. EU chases 90m AstraZeneca vaccines in fresh legal battle
  7. Fidesz MEP oversees FOI appeals on disgraced Fidesz MEP
  8. Belgium outlines summer Covid relaxation plans

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us