European manufacturing managed to ease the pace of contraction in February despite the negative impact of the coronavirus on the economy, the flash PMI data released on Friday showed.
Manufacturing PMI scored 49.1 in February, up from a revised of 47.9, beating forecasts of 47.4, while the services sector widened its expansion to 52.8 from 52.5 in January. The Composite reading, therefore, rose from 51.3 to 51.6.
"The eurozone economy managed to pick up some momentum again in February despite many companies having been disrupted in various ways by the coronavirus, which caused supply problems and showed signs of hitting travel and tourism numbers in particular," IHS Markit’s chief business economist Chris Williamson said.
The data suggested a quarterly growth rate of 0.2 percent in the eurozone.
In the U.K., the manufacturing sector also showed marked improvement as the PMI reading climbed to a 10-month peak of 52.8 in February.
On the other hand, the services PMI retreated to a two-month low of 53.3, which kept the composite reading unchanged at 53.3.
As of 09:45 GMT, the
euro traded higher at 1.0815 after hitting a bottom of 1.0778 the previous
session, the lowest since April 2017.