Euro Zone Growth Unexpectedly Slows

The euro zone’s
Flash Composite Output Indexfell to 51.5 in November from 51.9 in October.

This signals a deceleration in growth. Economists were expecting a reading of 52.0.

The services index fell to a three-month low of 50.9 and the manufacturing PMI output index fell to a two-month low of 52.8. But the manufacturing PMI index climbed to a 29-month high of 51.3.

Here’s Markit economist Chris Williamson:

“Some encouragement must be gleaned from the PMI signalling expansion of the eurozone economy for a fifth successive month in November, but the average reading over the fourth quarter so far is signalling a very modest 0.2% expansion of GDP across the region, and it looks like momentum is being lost again.

“The fall in the PMI for a second successive month suggests that the ECB was correct to cut interest rates to a record low at its last meeting, and the further loss of growth momentum will raise calls for policymakers to do more to prevent the eurozone from slipping back into another recession.

“Attention will also be focused on the signs that deflationary forces may be gathering. Prices charged for goods and services fell at a faster rate in November, despite firms‟ input costs rising at the steepest clip for over a year.

“Any improvements were largely confined to Germany, where the PMI has notched up the best growth since mid-2011 so far in the fourth quarter, signalling a 0.5% increase in GDP. France, on the other hand, showed further signs of being the „sick man of Europe‟ with output showing a renewed decline and raising the risk that GDP could fall again in the fourth quarter, constituting a renewed recession. Meanwhile growth outside the „big two‟ slowed to near-stagnation.”

Markets continue to be in the red across Europe.

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