From Andrew Stuttaford:
The seasonally adjusted Markit Eurozone Manufacturing PMI® fell to a near three-year low of 45.9, down from 47.7 in March and below the earlier flash estimate of 46.0. The headline PMI has signalled contraction in each of the past nine months. The April PMIs also indicated that manufacturing weakness was no longer confined to the region’s geographic periphery. The German PMI fell to a 33-month low, conditions deteriorated sharply again in France and the Netherlands also contracted at a faster rate.
Jobs declined across the EU, including Germany.
And it’s worth noting this from Markit’s chief economist:
“. . . Even German manufacturing output showed a renewed decline, attributed by many firms to weak demand from southern Europe. As such, it is hard to see where growth will come from in coming months. . .”
As you know, the United Kingdom is also facing tough times, and cutting its own services while sending £billions to various EU outfits. We are not, however, so dependent on EU trade as other members. As Wiki explains:
The United Kingdom is one of the world's most globalised countries. London is the world's largest financial centre alongside New York and has the largest city GDP in Europe. As of December 2010 the UK had the third-largest stock of both inward and outward foreign direct investment (in each case after the United States and France). The aerospace industry of the UK is the second- or third-largest national aerospace industry, depending upon the method of measurement. The pharmaceutical industry plays an important role in the UK economy and the country has the third-highest share of global pharmaceutical R&D expenditures (after the United States and Japan). The British economy is boosted by North Sea oil and gas reserves, valued at an estimated £250 billion in 2007.
Remind me again why we need to be nailed to the mast of the EU ship? Is it so British taxpayers can feel good about our sacrifices or so politicians and civil servants can earn huge EU wages, benefits, and pensions?
Cat adds: We still have a few copies of the bracing essay The handover of Great Britain by economist Tim Congdon CBE. If you are interested in reading it, email us and we'll send you one - it's beautifully printed, by the way and free of charge.