Economic activity in the United Kingdom grew even faster in April. This was shown on Friday by preliminary figures from Markit Economics.
The combined purchasing managers index for the United Kingdom rose from 56.4 in March to 60.0 in April. Thus, the index records at the highest level in 89 months. The Purchasing Managers Index for the services sector rose from 56.3 to 60.1, the highest point in 80 months. The preliminary index for industry rose from 58.9 to 60.7. This is even the highest level in almost 27 years.
Economic activity in the euro area increased in April. The combined purchasing managers index for the monetary union rose from 53.2 in March to 53.7 in April. The prognosis for this was 52.9.
Industry showed more growth and the service sector turned from contraction to growth.
The Purchasing Managers Index for the services sector rose from 49.6 to 50.3 for which 49.0 was expected. The preliminary index for industry rose from 62.5 to 63.3. This was expected to be 62.0. The industry index is now at its highest level since June 1997.
Economic activity in Germany increased less sharply in April. The composite Purchasing Managers Index for Germany fell from 57.3 in March to 56.0 in April. The Purchasing Managers Index for the services sector fell from 51.5 to 50.1, for which 50.8 was foreseen. The preliminary index for industry fell from 66.6 to 66.4, compared with an expected 65.8.
An index position greater than 50 indicates growth, while less than 50 means contraction.
Retail sales in the United Kingdom increased faster than expected in March. This was shown on Friday by figures from the British statistical office. Sales increased by 5.4 percent on a monthly basis. On an annual basis, this was an increase of 7.2 percent. An increase of 2.5 per cent was expected on a monthly basis and an annual decrease of 4.2 per cent.