Euro region's tepid recovery continues

Factory growth in the euro area accelerated amid a continued decline in unemployment, extending a tepid recovery that may require more stimulus from the European Central Bank (ECB).

Markit Economics said in a report yesterday that its Purchasing Managers Index for the region rose to 52.8 in November, from 52.3.

Markit said manufacturing in all euro area countries surveyed expanded in November, apart from Greece.

Joblessness unexpectedly fell to 10.7 per cent in October, data from the European Union's statistics office showed.

While the euro region economy is slowly improving, both growth and inflation are subdued, and ECB president Mario Draghi has signalled that policymakers will respond with action this week.

Their concern is that an expected pick-up in prices in the coming months may only be temporary, eroding confidence in the ECB's ability to meet its mandate and nurture a recovery.

"It's by no means a spectacular pace of expansion," said Mr Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit in London. "The scene is set for the ECB to unleash further stimulus at its December meeting to ensure momentum continues to build."

On the table are a range of options that include a cut in deposit rates, changes to the size or duration of the asset purchase programme or new measures.

BLOOMBERG

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 02, 2015, with the headline 'Euro region's tepid recovery continues'. Print Edition | Subscribe