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EU growth remains lacklustre as French downturn deepens

Staff writer |
Conditions in the eurozone manufacturing sector remained lacklustre at the start of the second quarter, as rates of expansion eased for both production and incoming new orders.

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Brighter news was provided on the employment and price fronts, as jobs growth gained momentum and deflationary pressures moderated.

The final Markit Eurozone Manufacturing PMI ticked higher for a second successive month, posting three-month high of 51.7.

This was above March’s 51.6, the earlier flash estimate of 51.5 and the long-run survey average of 51.4. The reading was nonetheless among the weakest registered over the past year.

Of the six nations for which April data were available (Ireland is published on 3rd May and Greece on 4th May), five registered expansions according to their respective headline PMI readings.

Italy and Spain saw the fastest growth, with rates of increase accelerating slightly in both cases. The Netherlands and Austria posted modest expansions, albeit weaker than in the prior month.

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