Italy and France’s manufacturers signal shrinkage as Europe slows

MANUFACTURING firms in two of the largest Eurozone economies are shrinking, according to Markit’s latest purchasing managers’ index (PMI) data.

France’s reading came in at 46.9 for August, and Italy’s at 49.8, both below the neutral 50 level. While Spain and Germany’s scores are higher at 52.8 and 51.4 respectively, both have fallen in recent months.

“The best that can be said for the August Eurozone manufacturing purchasing managers’ survey is that it indicates that the sector is still growing,” said Howard Archer, chief European economist at IHS Global Insight.

Overall, the Eurozone manufacturing PMI stood at 50.7 last month, narrowly in positive territory.

The only two bright spots on Europe’s index came from two of the hardest-hit countries on the continent’s periphery.

Greece’s reading came in at 50.1, and Ireland’s manufacturing score hit 57.3, the highest in nearly 15 years.

Related articles