Eurozone employment growth at nine-year high
Inflationary pressures meanwhile intensified further. The Martkit Eurozone PMI registered 54.3 in January according to the preliminary ‘flash’ estimates (based on approximately 85% of final replies).
Although down marginally from 54.4 in December, the latest reading was the secondhighest since December 2015 and one of the highest readings seen over the past five-and-a-half years.
Growth edged slightly lower in both manufacturing and services, but in both sectors the rate of expansion remained robust by recent standards, especially in the goods-producing sector.
The latter continued to be boosted by rising exports1 , which once again showed a rate of increase not seen since the start of 2014, linked in many cases to the recent weakening of the euro.
The start of the year also saw the largest monthly rise in employment since February 2008. Hiring gained momentum in both services and manufacturing on the back of sustained growth of new orders, the rate of increase of which held steady on December’s one-year high, as well as improved optimism about the year ahead.
The January flash results include the release of a new index relating to business expectations about the next 12 months.
This index rose to its highest since data were first collected in July 2012, indicating that companies had become increasingly optimistic about their own activity levels in the coming year.
Elevated levels of optimism were seen in both services and manufacturing, though only the latter saw expectations about future growth improve further in January.
Inflationary pressures meanwhile intensified further in January. ■