Manufacturers in the euro zone had their strongest month since early 2011 in October as factories struggled to meet booming demand despite adding staff at the fastest rate in at least 20 years, a survey showed on Thursday. David Pollard reports.
Just a few years ago the struggle was to find demand. Now the struggle is to meet it. Euro zone factories clocking up their best month in nearly seven years, according to the latest PMI for manufacturers. It shows an overall reading eight and half points above the 50 level that denotes growth. It wasn't the only upbeat news ... On a day when Germany reported even better job numbers than expected. (SOUNDBITE) (German) HEAD OF FEDERAL LABOUR OFFICE, DETLEF SCHEELE, SAYING: "We have an unemployment figure in October of some 2.39 million people, that is under 2.4 million. That is very remarkable." To meet demand, manufacturers have been taking on staff rapidly - a sub-reading for employment at its highest in two decades. New orders are booming, they say - backlogs building up at their fastest in nearly 15 years. (SOUNDBITE) (English) GLOBAL FINANCIAL ECONOMIST, COMMERZBANK, PETER DIXON, SAYING: "The recovery is becoming more broad based. It's obviously benefiting from that is domestic demand picks up. It's also benefiting of course from the fact that global demand remains reasonably robust at the moment." Both French and German activity were at six and half year highs. The surveys also revealing robust price pressures ... That, good news too for the ECB - in its struggle to upend the low inflation that's still dogging Europe's recovery.