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“Eurozone downturn accelerates despite German growth,” read the header from the final Markit Eurozone Composite PMI report, released on Tuesday. The February reading “signalled a steepening of the downturn in business activity, contrasting with the easing trend which had been evident in the three months to January.”
The final reading for February fell from 48.6 to 47.9, further below the index’s barrier between growth and contraction — which stands at 50. This decline was led by a drop in the Services Business Activity Index, a component of the composite index, that also fell from 48.6 to 47.9.
“The dip in the Eurozone PMI compared to January is a disappointment,” commented Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit. “But the region still looks set to see a much smaller drop in GDP in the first quarter compared to the 0.6% decline seen in the final quarter of last year, with the PMI so far consistent with a 0.2% GDP decline.”
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