German and French private-sector activity is growing again

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German and French private-sector activity is growing again via IrishTimesBiz

German manufacturing data swung into positive territory last month Photograph: Jacobia Dahm/BloombergThe euro area’s two largest economies saw private-sector growth return, snapping months of contractions as easing supply shocks and an unusually mild winter provide respite.

S&P Global’s flash Purchasing Managers’ Index for Germany rose to 51.1 in February – much better than the 50.3 median estimate in a Bloomberg survey and the first time since June that the gauge was above the 50 threshold that signifies an expansion. The French measure clocked in at a seven-month high of 51.6 – defying economist expectations for a fourth straight contraction.

A year after Russia attacked Ukraine, much of Europe has weathered the worst of the fallout and the 20-member euro zone looks increasingly likely to avoid a recession. Consumer confidence is at a one-year high and inflation – though still uncomfortably high – has moderated in recent months.

 

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