Eurozone decline less sharp than feared, new survey data reveals

THE DECLINE in the Eurozone’s private sector eased a little this month, but a recession still looks inevitable with the region’s periphery struggling badly, a key business survey showed yesterday.

Markit’s Eurozone Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which measures the activity of thousands of Eurozone companies, rose for a second month in December to 47.9 from 47, confounding expectations for a fall to 46.5.

But the preliminary reading lingered well below the 50 mark that divides growth and contraction for a fourth month.

Survey compiler Markit said France and Germany were responsible for the improved headline figure, while debt-laden peripheral countries remained firmly in contraction territory.

“Overall these are an encouraging set of numbers which point to the recent declines in activity beginning to bottom out,” said Société Générale.

Meanwhile energy prices helped keep Eurozone annual consumer price inflation at three per cent in November, separate data from Eurostat showed yesterday.