Euro zone manufacturing activity accelerated at its fastest rate in nearly three years last month and inflationary pressures showed further signs of recovery, according to the latest readings on the economy. David Pollard reports.
It could be a moment to savour for a man who this week has been five years in his current job. ECB boss Mario Draghi almost certain to celebrate the latest PMI readings. Euro zone manufacturing activity accelerated at its fastest rate in nearly three years last month. Germany strong as ever - but even France above the 50 level that denotes growth for the first time in eight months. Vindication, say ECB fans, of a massive programme of QE and ultra-low rates to stimulate demand and inflation. Especially as a sub-index on output prices touched a 16-month high. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FERN WEALTH, DIRECTOR OF INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, ALASTAIR MCCAIG, SAYING: "It's been pretty encouraging especially when you consider the chaos that the Brexit vote has thrown into the mix. But therein lies half the problem of course. Article 50 hasn't been triggered and many of the changes that will take place for this Brexit haven't yet begun to crystallise." And that could, the thinking goes, hold firms off investing. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FERN WEALTH, DIRECTOR OF INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, ALASTAIR MCCAIG, SAYING: "Many of these companies will have postponed their business development. That in itself obviously will be having a cooling effect as far as the employment levels are concerned." Although not in Germany quite yet. Data there shows a new record low unemployment rate of six per cent. Europe's largest economy also with something to celebrate.