The Straits Times
Published on Sep 05, 2012

Euro zone activity slows further: PMI


BRUSSELS (AFP) - Private sector business activity in the euro zone showed a seventh monthly decline in August, a survey showed on Wednesday, led down by manufacturing as the debt crisis pushes the region into recession.

The closely-watched Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), a survey of 5,000 euro zone businesses compiled by Markit research firm, came in at a final 46.3, down from an initial estimate of 46.6 and the 46.5 figure in July. Any reading below 50 indicates contraction in activity.

The final August data leave the "euro zone economy on course to fall back into technical recession in the third quarter," Mr Rob Dobson, Senior Economist at Markit, said in a statement.

"Sharp declines in new orders at manufacturers and service providers, plus further job losses, mean that there is little prospect of a sustained improvement in economic conditions over the near-term," Mr Dobson added.