Business output in Europe grew at its fastest rate in nearly four years in March, the Markit composite purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 54.1 compared with 53.3 a month earlier the highest level in 46 months. Markit said the survey pointed to first-quarter economic growth of 0.3%.
The improvement in business output was the result of growth in new orders that had increased at their fastest rate since 2011. Employment also grew at its fastest rate since August 2011. Job creation in the service sector held steady near February's four year high, while in the manufacturing sector it grew at its quickest pace since April last year. Crucially, the survey showed that deflationary pressures eased in March with prices falling at the slowest rate since July. Markit said this reflected the need for some firms to pass on costs to customers.
US consumer prices rebounded last month as petrol prices rose for the first time since June, official figures show. The Consumer Price Index rose by 0.2% in February, but remained unchanged from a year earlier. The monthly rise follows three consecutive months of declines, including a 0.7% drop in January.
Petrol prices rose 2.4% in February, after falling by 18.7% in January. Economists expect the strong dollar to keep inflation low in the coming months as it will make imported goods cheaper for consumers. The dollar has risen sharply in value in the past year against the euro and the yen, as the US economy has grown more quickly than those of Europe and Japan.
Job growth in the US has been robust and the economy is steadily expanding. Typically, that would lead the Fed to raise interest rates from near zero, where they have been since December 2008. But the CPI is far below the 2% target set by the Federal Reserve and this is complicating the Fed's decision on when to raise interest rates.
EUR: 09:00 -German IFO Business Climate (March) Expected to rise to 107.4 from 106.8
USD :12:30 -US Core Durable goods Orders (Feb) expected to rise to 0.3% from 0%
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