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Eurozone Manufacturing Index Falls To 10-Month Low

By Agence France-Presse Eurozone manufacturing activity fell to its lowest level in 10 months in October, a purchasing manufacturers' index compiled by NTC Research revealed Nov. 1. The index for the 12-nation zone fell from 53.1 in September to 52.4, its third straight monthly decline. A reading above 50 suggests that business sentiment is continuing to improve. While the NTC index has been above that level for 14 months, its recent readings have shown a sharp drop in activity. Industrial production continued to increase in October but did so at its weakest pace since October 2003, with France showing the strongest growth followed by Germany. Momentum was weakest in Spain. A rise in orders likewise continued to lose steam, according to the report, which also found that manufacturing sector employment declined in October. Prices for intermediate goods rose to their highest level since May 2000, driven largely by energy and steel prices. As a result, manufacturers raised sales prices sharply. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2004

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