The decline in the eurozone's manufacturing sector has “showed signs of moderation”, according to the CIPS / Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index.
The PMI went from 46.2 in November to 46.3 in December. While any figure below 50 indicates a contraction in the sector, the slight improvement seems to hint to a “brightening outlook” for 2013, says Chris Williamson, Markit’s chief economist.
“A return to growth is looking like an increasing possibility in the first half of next year, barring any surprises, if the recent improvements in the survey data can be sustained. The turnaround is being led by Germany,” he added.
Germany’s total output increased for the first time in eight months, but a good performance in the service sector “was offset by a faster decline in manufacturing production,” according to the survey.
French output fell for the 10th consecutive month, in a scenario of very low confidence in the eurozone. Meanwhile, in December Chinese manufacturing has grown at the fastest pace in 14 months.