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Data released Friday morning highlighted struggles facing some of the world’s largest economies. A report issued by London-based Markit Economics showed that the downturn in European manufacturing continued relatively unabated in February.
A composite index based on a survey of purchasing managers in the European Union services and manufacturing industries decreased to a reading of 47.3 in February, from January’s 11-month high of 48.6. Any reading below 50 indicates that the economy in question in contraction. While no economists had been predicting the bloc’s economy to expand this quarter, those polled by Bloomberg had anticipated the purchasing managers index to increase to a reading of 49 for the month.
The index was held back by a drop in the region’s manufacturing gauge, which fell to 47.8 in February from 47.9 in January. A drop in the services index to 47.3 from 48.6, the steepest drop in 10 months, also hurt results…
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