global economy

Eurozone business growth stagnates as virus resurges

Agence France-Presse

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Eurozone business growth stagnates as virus resurges

A worker checks the quality of non-woven fabric, produced for protective masks at the Innovatec production facility in Troisdorf, Germany, on June 25, 2020. - The North Rhine-Westphalian company intends to produce an additional 1500 tons of nonwoven matrial per year in the future with the two newly installed subsidized meltblown lines. The additional volume will enable the production of more than 1.5 billion protective masks. (Photo by Ina FASSBENDER / AFP)


Germany, the eurozone's biggest economy, continues to lead the recovery, though at a slower rate

Eurozone economic activity stagnated in September as a summer recovery faltered because of a resurgence in the spread of the coronavirus, IHS Markit said on Wednesday, September 23.

The firm’s closely watched Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 50.1 points from 51.9 points in August, just barely above the key 50-point level which indicates growth.

“A two-speed economy is evident, with factories reporting that production growth was buoyed by rising demand” while the service sectors were hard hit, said Chris Williamson, chief economist at IHS Markit.

The data provider said that Germany, the eurozone’s biggest economy, continued to lead the recovery, though at a slower rate than previously.

France, where services are key, saw business activity “deteriorate” for the first time in 4 months.

The rest of the eurozone – which includes Spain and Italy – suffered a more rapid slowdown, IHS Markit said, noting that staff were being cut across the continent, though at a slower pace.

Williamson saw encouragement “from a further improvement in companies’ expectations for the year ahead, but this optimism often rests on [COVID-19] infection rates falling, which remains far from guaranteed for the coming months.”

Jessica Hinds of Capital Economics warned that the data “suggest that the recovery is grinding to a halt, at least outside the German manufacturing sector.” –

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