By Hugh Finlay
French manufacturing reached a 6 year high. The index of purchasing managers reached 55.1 on the PMI (Purchasing Managers Index), which is the highest it has been for French industry since 2011, said IHS Markit data economist, Alex Gill, indicating the continued expansion of French manufacturing. New orders have been steadily increasing over several months, partly due to greater demand from the construction industry.
Despite French manufacturers have raising their prices, foreign orders for French goods has increased, coming from places such as Asia, India, Spain and Brazil. The weak Euro has helped to create the demand for French goods.
This has meant that more jobs being created, and French companies are confident that the growth in French industry will continue.
In Germany, the biggest economy in Europe, manufacturing is also expanding. As in France, it has reached a 6 year high. The Markit PMI for manufacturing in Germany reached 58.3. This continued period of growth in German industry is the biggest in the past 20 years. Like French manufacturers, German manufacturers continue to increase their prices, due to the higher cost of manufacturing materials. Nevertheless, German industry's output, employment and new orders are high.
Another European country that has seen a continued improvement in its economy is Ireland, which is the fastest growing economy in Europe. Irish manufacturing continues to increase, as a greater demand for its products comes from abroad. The index of Investec Manufacturing Purchasing Managers indicated 53.6 for Ireland, indicating the continued growth of Irish industry.
Ireland is Britain's closest trading partner in Europe, and because of this, Brexit seemed to pose a threat to Irish business confidence. However, the increased demand for Irish products abroad has prompted the Irish government to forecast continued economic growth for the country. As Philip O'Sullivan, the chief economist for Investec Ireland said: "One of the key highlights is the new export orders index and firms continue to invest in providing additional resources to meet rising client demand as evidenced by the expanding employment component."
Even though employment and purchases increased in Irish industry, manufacturers were feeling less confident. Nevertheless O'Sullivan said:"In any event, we reiterate our view that the outlook for Irish manufacturing firms remains positive, supported by improving international backdrop."