Eurozone dominates PMI manufacturing index growth

Eurozone dominates PMI manufacturing index growth

Eurozone dominates PMI manufacturing index growth

The manufacturing sector in Japan continued to expand in December, and at an accelerated pace, the latest survey from Nikkei showed on Thursday with a manufacturing PMI score of 54.0.

December data indicated a marked improvement in United States manufacturing operating conditions.

Together these countries account for 89 percent of eurozone manufacturing activity.

"Expansion remained comfortably above long-term trend rates", said Rob Dobson, the director of IHS Markit.

France saw its pace of output growth remain close to November's high.

It was a similar story by geographic region with improvement seen in both developed and developing markets. "The overall upturn was supported by the sharpest increase in output and new orders since December 2012 and October 2016 respectively".

"While a pick-up in new orders to a seven-month high in December offers some hope for construction going into 2018, it looks like it is going to be another challenging year for the sector".

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The British pound gained ground against the United States dollar earlier Thursday, both before and after the release of the December services PMI.

In the USA, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates three times last year and, according to officials' median forecast, has penciled in another three this year on the expectation that inflation will move back toward its 2 percent target.

Like the headline PMI, a reading above 50 indicates that new orders grew from a month earlier. Increased capacity pressures were also reflected in backlog accumulation.

Unsurprisingly, firms upped their hiring levels during the month to capitalise on current and expected operating conditions in the future.

Factories across the globe warned they are finding it increasingly hard to keep up with demand, potentially forcing them to raise prices as the world economy looks set to enjoy its strongest year since 2011.

The PMI gain was supported by improved business optimism among survey respondents.

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