As China stumbles, Europe starts to get back up

China’s factories are continuing to struggle. Manufacturing activity fell to an 11-month low in China this month, according to the latest Purchasing Managers (PMI) survey by the HSBC bank.  

Meanwhile there are signs of recovery in one of the world’s biggest economic black spots -- the eurozone. Another   major business survey shows that for the first time since January, economic activity expanded this month across the eurozone as a whole. German manufacturing returned to growth and French industry, while still in recession, hit a 17-month high.

The euro rose against the U.S. dollar on the news. But Marcelle Alexandrovic of Jeffries Bank warns against over optimism:

“We get these sort of blips in the data. Monthly indicators tick up and markets get excited and perhaps get slightly carried away. But fundamentally, Europe still has problems and recovery is far from assured,” he says.

There’s politicial instability in Portugal and Spain, and Greece needs another bailout. And, analysts say, if China really  slows down, the eurozone’s exporting dynamo -- Germany -- will lose further momentum.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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