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Manufacturing begins to rebound across Europe

The U.K.-based Financial Times is reporting that manufacturing is increasing in many European countries after a long downward trend.

Manufacturing increased at its fastest rate in 2-1/2 years, according to Purchasing Managers Index data.

Financial Times economics reporter Claire Jones said France was the only exception to last month’s increase in manufacturing, but she said the PMI numbers should be approached with caution because those data don’t chime with car sales data or numbers released by French officials.

Britain and Germany were leading in manufacturing growth, but even peripheral countries, such as Italy, which has been particularly challenged economically, had strong growth, Jones said.

The news helps make the case for those who think the European economy is on the rebound, but Jones cautioned against being overly optimistic because manufacturing only accounts for about 10 percent of the overall economy.

It plays a more important role in the euro zone’s economy, but Jones doesn’t think analysts expect anything more than “a subdued return to growth.”

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