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REGIONSEUROPE


RECORD EUROZONE BUSINESS AND MANUFACTURING ACTIVITY MARRED BY SUPPLY CONSTRAINTS


Activityup despitevariant


COVID-19


Eurozone businesses reported their fastest expansion for more than two decades in July, amid supply constraints, labour shortages and concerns over the Delta variant of Covid-19, according to an IHS Markit survey of purchasing managers published on July 26. IHS Markit’s eurozone flash PMI


increased to 60.6 in July, up from 59.5 in June, as economies continued to reopen and vaccine rollouts bolstered confidence. A score over 50 in the PMI indicates that a majority of businesses reported an expansion in activity fromthe previous month. The 21-year-high index score


meant the Eurozone sawthe fastest expansion of all surveyed locations for the first time since the pandemic began, posting growth above the US, the UK, Japan and Australia. But with the strongest rise in service-sector activity for 15 years, prices charged for goods and services soared. Business confidence also took a


knock from rising concerns over the Delta variant, with sentiment for the year ahead falling to its lowest level for five months. Manufacturers in the eurozone


reported rapid growth too, according to a separate survey of purchasing managers, with a PMI score of 62.6 in July, down from a record 62.8 a month earlier. Sharp expansions were reported across consumer, intermediate and investment goods makers, the last of which posted the fastest upturn of the three. Chris Williamson, chief business


economist at IHS Markit, said in a statement on August 2, that the slight cooling of eurozone manufacturing growth was not a major cause for concern, but capacity constraints and work backlogs were at record levels. “Manufacturers and their


suppliers are struggling to raise 70


Riding strong: the service sector in Europe has seen its strongest rise in 15 years


production fast enough to meet demand, driving prices ever higher,” added Mr Williamson. “The July survey showed inflows of new orders outstripping production to an extent unprecedented in the survey’s 24-year history.” In response, Eurozone


manufacturers hired new workers at a record pace, with job creation particularly pronounced in Germany and Austria, according to the survey of purchasing managers. Eurozone manufacturers also


continued to have an optimistic outlook for the next 12 months, in line with the global economic recovery and business adjusting to fewer pandemic-related restrictions. But like other businesses, manufacturers worry about the Delta variant and its potential impact on operations. “Mounting concerns about how


the Delta variant poses further threats to supply chains and staff availability have helped push future growth expectations to the lowest so far this year,” said Mr Williamson.■ ALEXIRWIN-HUNT


Nissan unveils £1bnUKEV hub


Japanese car manufacturer Nissan and battery producer Envision AESC have unveiled plans to develop a £1bn electric vehicle (EV) hub centred around the former’s existing facility in Sunderland, in north-east England. The hub, named EV36Zero, has


three main components, according to a statement from Nissan. The company will invest £423m to


produce a new-generation all-electric car model in Sunderland. It expects this to create 909 direct jobs (around 6000 people are currentlyemployed at the site) along with 4500 additional jobs in the supply chain, while safeguarding a further 75 jobs in research and development. The new model “will be exported to the European markets traditionally served by Nissan’s Sunderland plant”, the statement reads. Envision AESC, a former Nissan


subsidiary that has been supporting the company’s electrification push in Sunderland since 2012, will invest another £450m to develop an adjacent gigafactory with an initial 9GWhof battery capacity.■ JACOPODETTONI


RecordH1FDI forIreland


Between January and June 2021, Ireland attracted more foreign direct investment projects than the same period of any year since records began in 2003, according to the latest half-year data from greenfield investment tracker fDi Markets. Tech and business services


dominated in terms of projects, accounting for almost 60% of the total number announced in Ireland in the first half of 2021. This included US-based online payments provider Stripe’s plans to create 1000 jobs at its Dublin headquarters by 2026, after the Irish government invested $50minto its $600m funding round in March. Several capital-intensive digital


infrastructure projects were announced, including from Amazon.■ ALEXIRWIN-HUNT


www.fDiIntelligence.com August/September 2021


$50M


THEIRISHGOVERNMENT’S INVESTMENTINONLINE PAYMENTSPROVIDERSTRIPE


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