The euro had a mediocre start to the month. The Eurozone manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose from 50.6 in December to 51.0 in January. Activity in France, Italy and Greece declined, while activity in Germany slowed from the previous month – this only means the concerns over the weak economy remain and aren’t likely to change anytime soon. Along with this release of data, the report also showed that producers cut prices at the fastest rate in the last 18 months, increasing worries around deflation in the Eurozone.
The Greek Finance Minister continues his grand tour of Eurozone Finance Ministers as he tries to get their buy in for the refinancing of Greek debt and the easing of the very strict austerity measures that have been imposed. Initial impressions have been more positive than expected but I suspect February is going to be a long month when it comes to the Greek saga.