Spain manufacturing sector posts more solid growth in December

Spain manufacturing sector posts more solid growth in December

Spain manufacturing sector posts more solid growth in December

Italy's manufacturing activity continued to expand strongly at the end of the year, survey figures from IHS Markit showed Tuesday.

The country's manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) came in at 51.6 in December, slightly decelerating from 51.8 in November, according to National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data released Sunday.

Meanwhile, the large food and beverages sub-sector recorded its highest monthly result since April 2016, while the non-metallic minerals sub-sector, wood and paper products and machinery and equipment all recorded their lowest index results for 2017. The increase was driven by stronger new order growth and the fastest rise in employment in the sector since the survey began in 1998.

The pickup in December's manufacturing PMI came on the back of strong demand both at home and overseas. Furthermore, the rate of expansion quickened to the strongest since December 2012.

In China, manufacturing growth unexpectedly picked up to a four-month high in December amid a surge in new orders, suggesting continued strength in global trade.

However, there was a note of caution in the data as growth in new export orders fell to 56.9 in December from a near three-year high of 60.0 a month earlier.

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"Given the strong conditions evident in the manufacturing sector, it is no surprise to see that firms are upbeat about the outlook, with more than six times as many companies expecting to see growth in 2018 as opposed to those who anticipate a decline", said Investec Ireland chief economist Philip O'Sullivan.

"For the most part, the manufacturing sector remained stable in November, although some signs of weakness emerged", said Zhengsheng Zhong, director of macroeconomic analysis at CEBM Group, a subsidiary of Caixin.

The NBS also said that China's official nonmanufacturing PMI rose to 55 in December, up from 54.8 in November.

"Overall, 2017's economic performance continues to be steady and good, establishing a generally good foundation for 2018", the federation said.

Costs of raw materials such as oil and steel rose while prices of materials from Chinese suppliers increased, leading to a sharp rise in input costs in December.

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