The Markit Eurozone purchasing managers’ Composite Output Index managed to rise in November from a 40-month low to 46.5.
Although this marks a step up from the flash estimate which came in at 45.8, and is the highest reading since July, in overall terms it still marked the tenth consecutive month of contraction in the region’s private sector output.
Survey compiler Markit also highlighted that the average reading so far for the fourth quarter was the weakest since the second quarter of 2009.
In fact, the downturns continued in both the manufacturing and service sectors in November.
However, Markit noted that the ‘rates of contraction slowed to seven- and three-month lows respectively.’ Activity levels in both sectors were affected by weak demand from domestic and export markets.
At the individual nation level, Ireland was the only one to report an increase in business activity during November, with the rate of expansion broadly unchanged on October’s 20-month peak.
In contrast, France, Italy and Spain remained in deep contraction territory, despite the rates of decline moderating in France and Spain. The downturn in Germany also eased, with output continuing to decline at a considerably weaker rate than in other large nations.
Markit’s Chief Economist Chris Williamson commented that ‘the Eurozone’s recession looks to have deepened in the final quarter’. Even so, Williamson does point out that not all the data is dire: ‘There are signs that the recession may have reached a nadir, however, at least in terms of the rate of decline, and it is reassuring to see that the final Eurozone PMI reading came in higher than the earlier flash estimate.
‘Services in particular surprised to the upside, contracting to the least extent for three months, while manufacturing output fell at the slowest rate for seven months.’