Flash numbers came out yesterday, here’s a roundup.
US manufacturing output growth continues
Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index registered 55.5 in March, the second-highest since January 2013.
The Eurozone continued to grow
The flash estimate of the Markit Eurozone PMI Composite Output Index came in at 53.2, only slightly lower than February’s 32-month high of 53.3 and registering expansion for the ninth consecutive month. The periphery is staging a robust-looking recovery.
Germany grew at a robust pace
New export work placed at manufacturers rose for an eighth month running, with China, Spain and the US mentioned as sources of growth.
France returned to growth
The Markit Flash France Composite Output Index posted 51.6, up from 47.9 in February. That was the first reading above the 50.0 no-change threshold since last October.
In the manufacturing sector, growth of new work picked up to a solid pace that was the sharpest in 34 months (partly boosted by a faster rise in new export orders).
Eurozone unemployment remains stuck at a record high of 12%. Price measures continue to warn of deflation risk. Input prices – or the prices manufacturers pay for goods – have been dropping while output prices – or the prices they charge for what they sell – are contracting, as they have done for the past two years. (WSJ)
Investors are walking farther along the risk curve, reaching for yield. Debt investors are abandoning normal creditor protections on European leveraged buyout loans. Growing volumes of euro-denominated “covenant light” loans have now aroused the interest of European regulators, who are increasing their monitoring of lenders’ behaviour. (FT)
Germany is seeing its version of a real-estate boom, dubbed betongold or “concrete gold.” “People here don’t want to own property. But they now feel they must because there’s no interest on savings. All you can do is buy real or concrete gold.” (FT)