Eurozone private sector manufacturing and services shrank more in April
Brussels, Belgium (AHN) – The eurozone saw it private sector contract sharply in April by one of its sharpest falls in nearly three years and its steepest decline since October, London-based Markit Economics said Friday.
A contraction is defined as any figure below 50 in the Markit eurozone composite purchasing managers’ index (PMI). The PMI fell to 46.7 in April from 49.2 in March.
Weak manufacturing exports were largely to blame for the drop, Markit said.
Moreover, Markit said the figures suggested the eurozone economy as a whole contracted at a dire quarterly rate of 0.5 percent in April.
The 17-member nation eurozone saw new business fall for the ninth consecutive month, while employment dropped for the fourth straight month.
Even Germany, known as Europe’s economic engine, slid toward stagnation. Economic growth has nearly stopped in both Germany and France and both are now seeing the sort of economic decline that has plagued Spain and Italy.
In addition, the eurozone’s services sector PMI also fell. It slid to 46.9, down from 49.2 in March.
The eurozone seems to be heading toward a third consecutive quarter of contraction in gross domestic product.
Release of Markit’s PMI reports helped to keep the euro low in currency pairs trading against the dollar.