Eurozone economy booms as virus restrictions recede

23 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

BRUSSELS: Business activity in the eurozone is growing at its fastest rate in three years, a survey said on Friday, as Europe’s economy steadily reopens from months of Covid-19 restrictions.

The closely-watched study indicated that the jump in demand was even overwhelming the economy, with factories and businesses unable to keep up with the record demand, reports AFP.

According to the data, “order inflows surged to an extent not seen for almost 15 years,” economic data group IHS Markit said.

The firm’s PMI index, one of the earliest indicators for where the economy is heading, said activity rose from 53.8 in April to a strong 56.9 in May, above the 50-point level that indicates growth.

Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said growth would have been “even stronger” had it not been for supply chain delays and difficulties restarting businesses quickly enough to meet demand.

“The shortfall of business output relative to demand is running at the highest in the survey’s 23-year history,” Williamson said.

Among the countries, IHS Markit said France, where the pandemic downturn was deep, grew “especially sharply”.

Germany also saw strong output, although “the manufacturing sector saw growth slow from the recent record pace of expansion thanks to supply chain bottlenecks,” it said.

The struggle to meet the frenetic demand will have an effect on prices, the survey showed.

“How long these inflationary pressures persist will depend on how quickly supply comes back into line with demand,” Williamson said.