Eurozone Manufacturing Slows

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The FINANCIAL — The eurozone’s manufacturing sector expanded in April, although at a slightly slower pace than in March, as orders continued to flow and companies added staff, a survey of purchasing managers showed on May 4, according to Nasdaq.

Data firm Markit, which surveys more than 3,000 manufacturers across the eurozone, said that its purchasing managers index fell to 52.0 in April from 52.2 in March. Markit had previously estimated the PMI fell to 51.9. A reading below 50.0 indicates activity is declining, while a reading above that level implies it is increasing.

The report indicates that the eurozone economy–the world’s second-biggest behind the U.S.–has turned the corner after a period of weak growth and at times contraction since 2009 left much of the 19-member currency bloc mired in stagnation, high unemployment and rising debt burdens.

The recent dip in the PMI “will serve to check recent optimism that the European Central Bank’s quantitative-easing program has bought a guaranteed ticket to recovery for the region,” said Markit’s Chief Economist Chris Williamson.

Manufacturing activity was uneven across the eurozone. Ireland and Spain remained the top performers, while France and Greece were stuck in contraction, Markit said.


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