According to the first estimate, which is based on approximately 85% of the usual monthly replies, the euro
zone composite PMI rose marginally in November. The improvement was based in the manufacturing sector as the manufacturing PMI rose from 45.4 to 46.2, while only a marginal pick-up to 45.6 was expected. The euro
zone manufacturing PMI is now at its highest level since March. Within the manufacturing sector, both output (45.9 from 45.0) and new orders (44.1 from 43.3) picked up in November. The available national data show that both in Germany (46.8 from 46.0) and France (44.7 from 43.7) manufacturing sentiment brightened slightly during the month. Although the manufacturing PMI remains in steep contraction, there are now signs that the worst is behind us, at least for the manufacturing sector, probably as a result of the recovery that is gaining strength in the US and China. Contrary to the manufacturing sector, business sentiment worsened further in the services sector. The euro
zone services PMI dropped from 46.0 to 45.7, reaching its lowest level since July 2007, while a stabilization at 46.0 was forecast. Within the services sector, business expectations worsened further in November, from 49.3 to 48.6, suggesting that weakness is likely to persist in the coming months. While services sector sentiment worsened further in Germany (48.0 from 48.4), there was some improvement seen in France (46.1 from 44.6). In the previous months, weakness was led by the manufacturing sector, but now the services sector is starting to underperform, probably due to euro
zone debt crisis, which is weighing on sentiment in the euro
According to the first estimate, European Commission’s consumer confidence weakened further in November to reach its lowest level since May 2009. The Commission’s consumer confidence indicator dropped from -25.7 to -26.9, while only a marginal decline to -25.9 was forecast. The details are not yet available. Consumer sentiment held up surprisingly well in the first half of the year, but is now weakening sharply as unemployment rates are peaking and austerity measures are weighing on consumers’ budgets.