January wasn’t a great year for the eurozone either, as private sector growth hit its weakest level since mid-2013. The latest figures came in at 51.0 last month and given that any reading above 50.0 shows growth, this reading is barely above stagnation. Markit – who conduct the survey – reported that France and Italy were particularly weak, as growth contracted in both countries.
Services PMI wasn’t much better either, as the eurozone’s reading came in at 51.2 – the same as December’s 49-month low. While this was above the 50.8 the markets had been expecting, it will still cause some concern. In Germany, the composite PMI was as expected at 52.1 from 51.6 the previous month, with services PMI rising to 53 from 51.8 in December.
Retail sales in the eurozone dropped by a whopping 1.6% in December – the largest decline since May 2011 – following an upwardly revised 0.8% growth in November. It was in line with expectations. On an annual basis, retail trade grew by 0.8% following an upwardly revised growth of 1.8% in November and beating expectations of 0.5%. Still, the overall feeling will be one of disappointment.
Today we have German factory orders for December and construction PMI for January. There will also be a European Central Bank non-monetary policy meeting.