Things are looking bleak for the Eurozone once again as Markit Purchasing Managers Index statistics showed a fifteen month of manufacturing contraction.
The flash PMI estimate came in at 45.3 and although the final figure was mildly better at 45.4 it’s still a significant plunge from September’s result of 46.1.
A large drop was also evident in the Manufacturers output index, which slid from 45.9 to 45.0.
Of particular concern are the national results. All 17 Eurozone nations but Ireland posted contraction and accelerated job losses. Ireland’s Manufacturing PMI hit a three-month high of 52.1, but this positive figure was unable to make up for all the negative ones.
Although France’s manufacturing PMI hit a two-month high it remains far below the 50 level which separates growth from contraction whilst Germany, the largest economy in the Eurozone, posted a 3-month low and an eight month of contraction.
As Markit’s chief economist Chris Williamson stated: ‘The manufacturing sector opened the final quarter of 2012 on a disappointing footing, as the downturn in the sector gathered pace. The national data also paints a bleaker picture. The ongoing weakness of the periphery is being combined with hollowing out of the previously strong core if France and Germany. […] Manufacturers faced a restrictive combination of weak demand from domestic markets and declining intra and extra-euro area trade flows.’
Spain and Italy, the countries most expected to take advantage of the European Central Bank’s bond buying scheme, showed acceleration in the pace of decline.
Many industry experts are now viewing the currency bloc easing back into recession in the last quarter of this year as a foregone conclusion and as the global economic crisis trundles on the Eurozone seems fated to be one of the largest causes of concern.
As of 9:50 am
The Pound to Euro exchange rate is currently trading at 1.2500
The Pound to US Dollar exchange rate is currently trading at 1.6097
The Pound to Australian Dollar exchange rate is currently trading at 1.5508
The Euro to US Dollar exchange rate is currently trading at 1.2878
The Euro to Pound exchange rate is currently trading at 0.8000
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