Eurozone Manufacturing Activity Softer than Expected

Activity was weak across entire Eurozone

Manufacturing activity in the 15 countries sharing the euro retreated faster than expected in September, according to a widely watched survey released on Oct. 1. The eurozone's purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector, compiled by data and research group Markit, slipped to 45 points in September from 45.3 points in August.

The reading was worse than a first estimate of 45.3 points and marked the fourth month running that the index has been in contraction territory, which is indicated by a result of less than 50.

"The final purchasing managers' survey for September shows that manufacturing activity was even weaker than first estimated, thereby heightening fears that the eurozone is headed for recession," said economist Howard Archer at consultants Global Insight.

"Completing the worrying picture, the weakness in manufacturing activity in September was widespread across the Eurozone, with Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Ireland and, especially, Spain all enduring contraction," he said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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