Eurozone’s worst spell
– 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