Eurozone Manufacturing Survey Shows Deepening Recession

Aug. 1, 2012

European Olympic athletes may be scaling new heights but their manufacturing counterparts are finishing out of the medals. The Markit Eurozone Manufacturing PMI fell to a 37-month low in July of 44.0, down from 45.1 in June.

Of the eight nations included in the survey, only Ireland (53.9) had a rating above 50.0, which indicates expansion. And Germany, France and Spain had rates of decline in manufacturing activity either at or close to the steepest since mid-2009, Markit reported. Greece had the worst performance at 41.9.

The Markit data indicated the rate of decline in Eurozone manufacturing was accelerating, with output, new orders and employment all worsening. Manufacturers cut their selling prices in the face of ongoing weakness in demand.

Job losses occurred for the sixth month in a row. Germany, France, Italy and Spain experienced the most severe job cuts.

"The Eurozone manufacturing sector's woes intensified again in July," said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit. "Output fell at the fastes rate since mid-2009, consistent with the official measure of production falling at a quarterly rate in excess of 1%. Manufacturing therefore looks to be on course to act as a major drag on economic growth in the third quarter, as the Eurozone faces a deepening slide back into recession."

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