Brussels - Private sector business activity in the eurozone showed an
eighth monthly decline in September hitting its gloomiest patch in
three years, survey results showed on Thursday.
closely-watched Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), a survey of 5 000
eurozone businesses compiled by Markit research firm, came in at 45.9
points, down from 46.3 in July.
Any reading below 50 indicates contraction in activity.
together with previous months the data suggested "the worst quarter for
three years," Chris Williamson, Markit chief economist said in a
He tipped a 0.6% contraction in gross domestic product for the quarter, which would confirm a return to recession.
had hoped that the news regarding the ECB's (European Central Bank) intervention to alleviate
the debt crisis would have lifted business confidence, but instead
sentiment appears to have taken a turn for the worse," Williamson said,
referring to plans by the ECB to buy bonds issued by
struggling eurozone governments.
He said the business outlook was
"the most gloomy since early-2009," with the "gloom clearly reflected in
head counts falling at the fastest rate since January 2010 as companies
seek to adjust to weaker demand".
At the same time, the survey
reported company costs rising - mainly energy price-driven - despite
weak global demand bringing output prices down.
"Some good news
came from an easing in the rate of contraction in Germany, though the
rate of decline accelerated markedly in France," Williamson added of the
He said Germany was seeing new orders dry up in both manufacturing and services sectors.
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