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How Much Can Europe’s PMI’s Improve?

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Tomorrow we could see some choppiness in the euro pairs as we have the successive release of Market’s flash PMIs from three major regions in Europe: France, Germany, and the UK. Then, the aggregate for the eurozone.

It’s just the preliminary release with data that is still incomplete. However, typically, the final result is not far off. So, the flash reading often moves the market more than the final which comes after the end of the month.

Things have generally been improving in Europe, with the trend moving towards lifting covid restrictions and reopening the economy. There have been a couple of instances of concern, particularly now with the circulation of the new “Indian” variant. That said, so far, there hasn’t been any delay in lifting measures.

The vaccination program also appears to be finally ramping up, suggesting that at least in France and Germany, there will be enough people vaccinated by the middle of the summer. This would be a month earlier than initially expected.

Where things are going

In anticipation of a more positive outlook, PMIs, particularly in the service sector, had been breaking higher. In fact, in Germany, they reached record highs.

There is only so much optimism that businesses can have, even under the best of circumstances. So, a modest pullback wouldn’t be all that surprising, or even likely to be a shock to the markets.

That said, the consensus of expectations is for European businesses to show even more optimism than before. However, that’s relying on an improvement in the services sector, while expectations are for the manufacturing sector to, at best, remain flat.

What we are looking for

First up to report is France. Usually, they set the tone for the subsequent events, so if we see a result that is significantly out of line with expectations, the market could react.

Projections are for services PMI to move to 53.0 compared to 50.3 prior. This implies moving from a somewhat stagnant position, to clearly being in expansion. We can expect manufacturing PMI to fall back slightly to 58.5 compared to 58.9 in April.

If France matches expectations, then Germany is likely to get most of the attention. Expectations are for Germany’s services sector to finally move into expansion at 52.0 compared to 49.9 in the prior reading. However, we may expect the manufacturing PMI to slip slightly to 65.9 compared to the all-time high of 66.2 in April.

Part of this is attributed to the situation in China, as Germany’s industrial base has benefited enormously during the pandemic in exporting to the Asian giant.

The Eurozone PMIs typically reflect what’s we’ve already seen in the prior reports. Expectatios are for services PMI to move further into expansion at 52.3 compared to 50.5 prior. Meanwhile, projections are for manufacturing PMI to fall back slightly to 62.5 compared to 62.9 prior.

Finally, the UK reports their Markit PMIs, which is likely to get a lot of attention as the major country with the most vaccinations achieved so far. Here, we can expect services PMI to advance further into expansion at 62.0 compared to 61.0 prior. And once again manufacturing PMI is projected to fall slightly to 60.0 from 60.9 in April.

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