Euro zone manufacturing growth weakened slightly last month on the back of a slower pace of new orders and output, new surveys show. As David Pollard reports, that's despite factories cutting their prices again to drum up business.
Germany marks a quarter century of reunification this weekend. It has much to celebrate - like the lowest rate of jobless people like these since the fall of the Berlin Wall. And its manufacturing. GFX September's PMI reading is well above the 50 level that denotes growth. New business is strong - a pick-up in US demand helping. And France too offers a bright note: its PMI reading revised up. The data may not, though, be as good as it looks, says Charles Stanley's Jeremy Batstone-Carr. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF ECONOMIST, CHARLES STANLEY, JEREMY BATSTONE-CARR, SAYING: "I don't think that anybody's anticipating a soar-away performance from the German economy particularly when global trade is as flat on its back as it is. For the French, I think the issue is yet again one of structural impediments." And is Spain losing some of its sparkle as the euro zone's rising star? GFX Its PMI reading eased back- that appears to confirm its central bank's view that Q3 growth will slow. Greece's manufacturing improved over the previous month, though the sector still appears in chronic ill-health. And the PMI for the euro zone as a whole slid. New orders were down overall - output prices too for the first time since March. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF ECONOMIST, CHARLES STANLEY, JEREMY BATSTONE-CARR, SAYING: "It doesn't on the face of it purport to show a region's manufacturing base in rude health and we would tend to agree with that." But amid signs of a global slowdown led by China, others outside the euro zone aren't immune either. UK manufacturing also slipped, according to the survey. With jobs in the sector falling for the first time in nearly two and half years.