05 June 2013 18:16 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--May was the second consecutive month of slowing rates of decline for the eurozone economy, data provider Markit said on Wednesday, indicating that the downturn in the region may be slowing.
Markit’s Eurozone PMI (purchasing managers’ index) Composite Output Index was 47.7, compared to 46.9 in April. Combining manufacturing and service data, a PMI of above 50 is necessary to indicate economic expansion.
Although manufacturing did not expand during the period, its rate of decline slowed to its lowest for 15 months, Markit added.
Inflows of new orders also declined across the key eurozone economies of Germany, Spain and France, but again at lower rates than in recent months.
However, an easing of the rate of decline does not necessarily point to an imminent return to growth, according to Markit chief economist Chris Williamson, who noted that the data still point toward a second-quarter GDP contraction of 0.2% for the bloc.
Williamson said: “Policymakers and politicians will … seek solace in the fact the rate of decline has now eased for two consecutive months, and that Germany is stabilising.
“However, the reality is that the region lacks any growth drivers, making it difficult to believe that anything better than a mere stabilisation of economic activity remains unlikely for the foreseeable future,” he added.
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