New orders rose to the highest level since June 2000 (+2.6 points to 59.9) supported by further improvement in economic conditions.
This translated into higher outstanding business (+2.1 points to 53.0) and better hiring intentions (+0.3 point to 52.7), and fuelled optimism with business expectations up to the highest level in 11 years. We highlight that input prices increased on the back of higher staff costs and rising energy prices, and that firms partly transferred this increase to clients with output prices posting the strongest print since August 2008 (+2.2 points to 49.4). Overall, PMIs made a solid start to the year, recording the strongest quarterly average since the start of the financial crisis (composite PMI averaging 56.6 in Q1 15). Our PMI based GDP indicator stands at to 0.7% q/q, in line with our forecast.