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Va va voom for euro zone economy

Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 02:11

A resurgence of activity in France helped euro zone businesses expand at their fastest rate in four years this month. A solid recovery for some perhaps, but as David Pollard reports, there is still caution at whether the euro zone recovery is sustainable.

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No prizes for guessing the top story here in Paris - as across Europe. This headline talking of a ''race against time to save Greece''. The locals - as elsewhere - hopeful of a solution. (SOUNDBITE) (French) PARISIAN PASCAL BAZEA, 55, SAYING: "When we decided to create Europe, there was an idea of solidarity. Now we should show this solidarity towards Europe. We should show we can save the world.'' Saving France's economy is perhaps enough of a challenge. But there is hope there too, it seems. Its manufacturing has expanded, according to the latest PMI data from Markit. The June number above the key 50 level that denotes growth for the first time in over a year. June services gave their best reading in nearly four years. And Germany's composite reading - that's services and manufacturing together - show a steady pick-up. The two countries together pushing the euro zone composite to its own four-year high. And good news came from Italy - where industry orders jumped by their highest in the same period. It could all mean upward revisions to growth forecasts, says BGC's market strategist Mike Ingram. Even if France - and the euro zone - aren't out of the woods quite yet. SOUNDBITE (English) BGC MARKET STRATEGIST, MIKE INGRAM, SAYING: ''The issue is always one of sustainability, not just for the euro zone economy, but for all economies across the globe in the post-financial crisis environment, so I think the message to investors is: 'Enjoy it while it lasts'. Because it almost certainly won't last forever.'' And if business is on the up, firms are having to push prices down to make it happen. The PMI price's index dropped in June. The ECB is printing 60 billion euros a month to boost growth and inflation - it still has its work cut out, says Ingram. SOUNDBITE (English) BGC MARKET STRATEGIST, MIKE INGRAM, SAYING: ''My position for a number of years was that the ECB was effectively asleep at the wheel and helped to drive the euro zone into something a deflationary funk .... The two biggest factors have been the decline in oil prices and the decline in the euro, which only recently Angela Merkel again seemed very keen to talk down, so I think those are really the two biggest drivers of the improvement in the euro zone economy over the last 12 months.'' In the meantime, Greece appears to be denting foreign demand - new export orders slipping back from a 13-month peak in May, according to the new numbers.

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Va va voom for euro zone economy

Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 02:11