Eurozone Growth Struggles to Keep a Worldly Pace

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New data highlight just how fragile the ongoing European economic recovery really is, Reuters reports. According to Markit’s calculation of the composite Purchasing Managers’ Index — which encompasses statistics from both the services and manufacturing sectors — the eurozone finished with a score of 51.7 for the month of November. While this is slightly better than the earlier published flash estimate, it is down a bit from October’s value of 51.9. As any number above 50 indicates expansion rather than contraction, the 51.7 score still indicates significant growth, just not quite at the level of months past.

Leading the way in the eurozone were Germany and Ireland, which both posted PMI values of 55.4 for this November. For Germany, that is the highest value that the country has seen in nearly two and a half years. Ireland, meanwhile, the first country to exit a bailout program in the region, continues to show signs of economic strength as it prepares to enter international bond markets.

The picture was not so bright for France, which, with a score of 48, sunk to a 5-month low and posted a notable contraction during the month. Italy, too, struggled, coming in with a 48.8 value that is not much better than the score of France — the divergence between northern European countries and those in the south.

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