The Euro softened slightly against the Pound on Thursday after data showed that the Eurozone’s economic recovery appears to be slowing.
Data showed that the single currency region’s private sector expanded for an eight consecutive month this month but grew at a slower pace than economists had been expecting.
According to Markit its PMI for the service sector fell to 52.7 this month but remained close to the 31-month high seen in January. Employment in the sector was unchanged for a third month in a row. The continued growth of the service sector was somewhat countered by an easing of manufacturing output.
The manufacturing PMI dropped to a two-month low of 53, down from the 54 recorded in the previous month. Economists had been forecasting the level to remain unchanged.
“A dip in the Eurozone PMI provides a reminder that the region’s recovery continues to be uneven and fragile. However, looking at the latest two months as a whole, the PMI suggests the region is on course to see GDP expand by up to 0.5% in the first quarter, which would be the strongest growth in three years,” said Chris Williamson, Chief Economist at Markit.
Manufacturing in Germany also slowed slightly in February but its services sector picked up due to an increase in domestic demand.
France meanwhile saw its manufacturing PMI tumble to a two-month low of 48.5 and its services PMI drop to a nine-month low of 46.9. The data added to fears that the Eurozone’s second largest economy is likely to see a contraction in the first quarter of this year.
Euro (EUR) Exchange Rates
[table width=”100%” colwidth=”50|50|50|50|50″ colalign=”left|left|left|left|left”]
Currency, ,Currency,Rate ,
Euro,,US Dollar,1.3699 ,
Euro,,British Pound,0.8229 ,
Euro,,Canadian Dollar,1.5169 ,
Euro,,Australian Dollar,1.5265 ,