The Straits Times
Published on Jan 04, 2013

Worst of euro zone's downturn may have passed


LONDON (REUTERS) - Tentative signs emerged in December that the euro zone economy may have passed the worst of its downturn, although a recovery still looks some months away, a business survey showed on Friday.

Markit's Eurozone Composite PMI, which gauges business activity across thousands of companies, rose in December to 47.2 from 46.5 in November. The headline figure was revised down slightly from an initial reading of 47.3.

While lingering below the 50 line dividing growth from contraction for an 11th month, December's reading was the highest since March last year.

The decline eased among the services firms that make up the bulk of the euro zone's economy, ranging from banks to restaurants, but manufacturers endured an awful end to 2012.