Eu­ro­zone’s worst spell

The Citizen (KZN) - - World - Brus­sels

– The eu­ro­zone’s econ­omy re­mained at a near stand­still this month, ex­tend­ing the worst quar­terly per­for­mance since 2013, said a closely watched sur­vey by the com­pany IHS Markit.

“The eu­ro­zone econ­omy closes out 2019 mired in its worst spell since 2013, with busi­nesses strug­gling against the head­winds of near-stag­nant de­mand and gloomy prospects for the year ahead,” said Chris Wil­liamson, the firm’s chief busi­ness econ­o­mist.

The fore­cast only feeds into the gloom also pre­dicted by the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank, which down­graded growth in the eu­ro­zone for next year to a fee­ble 1.1%.

IHS Markit said its com­pos­ite eu­ro­zone PMI, a key busi­ness in­di­ca­tor, stag­nated at 50.6 points in De­cem­ber.

A read­ing above 50 points to an ex­pan­sion. The in­dex’s de­cline showed busi­ness sen­ti­ment re­mained just over the thresh­old into pos­i­tive ter­ri­tory.

“The De­cem­ber malaise was led by man­u­fac­tur­ing, where out­put slumped,” the re­port said.

By coun­try, busi­ness ac­tiv­ity fell for a fourth con­sec­u­tive month in Ger­many, where the econ­omy has been desta­bilised by the US-China trade war and slump­ing de­mand for au­tos. – AFP

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