The latest detailed European sector Purchasing Managers Index (PMI®) data indicated a continued strong rebound in output in a number of manufacturing sectors in October, especially in automobiles & auto parts where a series-record expansion was recorded.
Less positively, tourism & recreation registered the fastest rate of decline since May.
Output in the automobiles & auto parts sector (output index: 66.5) rose at the fastest rate since the series began in January 1998. Moreover, stocks of finished goods fell at one of the strongest rates on record and new orders rose rapidly, pointing to further gains in production in the coming months. Backlogs and purchasing activity increased markedly during the month, although employment fell sharply.
Machinery and Equipment rose (third place), while the Construction and Engineering Sector declined (third place from bottom).
Underlining the divergent output trends emerging in the European economy at the start of the fourth quarter, the gap between the top- and bottom-ranked sector output indices was, at 36.8 points, the largest ever recorded. Since March, this gap has averaged 27.9 points, greater than the pre-coronavirus record of 26.9 points set in January 2009.