An indicator of manufacturing growth in the Eurozone hit a year-low in February, according to figures released this morning.
Markit's manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) dipped to a score of 51.2 from January's 52.3. While it is above the 50 no-growth mark, it suggests growth slowed from January. Production, new orders, new export business and hiring all lost momentum.
Germany and France, the Eurozone's two biggest economist, scored 50.5 and 50.2, implying their manufacturing sectors were nearly stagnating.
Spain's PMI fell to a two-month low of 54.1 while Italy's declined to a year-low of 52.2.
"The Eurozone manufacturing sector is clearly suffering as export orders are limited by muted global growth. On top of this it appears that recent weakening Eurozone business and consumer confidence is limiting demand for capital goods and for consumer durable goods," said economist Howard Archer from analysts IHS.
"Nevertheless, appreciable support to Eurozone manufacturers is still coming from very low oil and commodity prices that helps them to price competitively to win business. A competitive euro is also helpful."