Eurozone downturn has deepened this month, PMI shows

21 February 2013

Worries about the health of the eurozone have intensified following the release of a new report this morning (21 February).

Markit's latest flash purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the 17-nation economic bloc declined to a score of 47.3 this month from the level of 48.6 posted in January as the region's economic downturn steepened.

This means the PMI is still markedly below the growth threshold of 50 and Markit noted that business activity in the single currency area has now contracted in each of the last 18 months, with the exception of January 2012.

Meanwhile, output from the region's manufacturing and services sectors once again contracted at a quicker pace, but the divergence between the performance of individual member states remains pronounced.

For instance, the eurozone's foremost economic power Germany saw its level of production go up for the third month in succession, but other nations experienced declines.

Chris Williamson, chief economist at the body, said the PMI "suggests that the eurozone is on course to contract for a fourth consecutive quarter in the first three months of the year".

By Claire Archer

Become a bobsguide member to access the following

1. Unrestricted access to bobsguide
2. Send a proposal request
3. Insights delivered daily to your inbox
4. Career development