Markit's eurozone PMI steady in January

04 February, 2017, 00:44 | Author: Celia Hoffman
  • Construction cranes are seen at dusk on a grey day in London Britain

The Markit/ADACI Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) rose to 52.4 from 52.3 in December, its eighth straight month above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction.

Activity in the U.S. services sector hit a 14-month high in January, according to data released on Friday.

Faster consumer-price growth is being fueled in part by the weaker pound and higher energy costs.

The current reading still point to a buoyant start to 2017 for the economy and is indicative of GDP rising by a robust 0.5 percent in the first quarter if current growth is sustained in coming months.

" Firms were, however, able to pass on at least some of these cost pressures by hiking average prices charged", Investec's Philip O'Sullivan said.

New business and employment in the sector, which accounts for over three-quarters of activity in the UK's economy, increased at a slower rate than expected in January.

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The index of economic growth showed output reaching a 10-month high in Ireland, which led the Eurozone at a reading of 59.3, nearly four points above the average reading for the Eurozone as a whole.

But, optimism in the sector is solid, with "business expectations" their highest since May 2016, as strong pipelines of work, new product launches and low interest rates continue.

Markit's analysis shows the reading translating to a rise in GDP of 0.4 per cent over the quarter.

"The degree to which costs are rising threatens to test the tolerance of some policymakers in terms of their willingness to "look through" what's likely to be a marked upturn in inflation in 2017", IHS Markit economist Chris Williamson said.

The rate of input cost inflation across the three sectors accelerated sharply in January to its joint-highest since before the global financial crisis, hitting a record high in manufacturing, a post-crisis high in construction and a six-year peak in services.

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