Paris, France (4E) – Business activity in the euro area continued its steady growth in May, according to a survey, despite the slowing rate of expansion.
Research firm Markit released its latest Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) showing a drop to 53.9, lower compared with 54.0 in April. A reading above 50 indicates expanding activity on month, while below 50 means contraction.
Thursday’s data also showed diverging fortunes of businesses in Germany and France.
Official figures published last week showed that the economy of the common currency bloc expanded by 0.2 percent in the first three months of the year, unchanged from the previous quarter.
Despite the slight slowdown this month, the euro zone economy was on track to rise by 0.5 percent in the second quarter of 2014, Markit said.
The May PMI in France dropped to 49.3, versus 50.6 in April, and Germany’s reading stayed flat at 56.1.
The PMI data by Markit is based on surveys of around 5,000 businesses in the euro zone. The latest results are the preliminary “flash” estimates, which are based on responses from 85 percent to 90 percent of the firms that were surveyed.