The downturn that began in the smaller periphery members of the 17-nation bloc is now sweeping through Germany and France and the situation remained dire in the region's third and fourth biggest economies of Italy and Spain.
"Larger nations like France and Germany remain in reverse gear. The (manufacturing) sector is on course to act as a drag on gross domestic product in the third quarter," said Rob Dobson, senior economist at data collator Markit.
Markit's final Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector fell from an earlier flash reading of 45.3 to 45.1, above July's three-year low of 44.0, but notching its 13th month below the 50 mark separating growth from contraction.
"The rate of decline was a little slower than in July, providing some heart that the manufacturing downturn may be easing, but the sector is on course to act as a drag on gross domestic product in the third quarter," Dobson said.
Having contracted 0.2 per cent in the three months to June the bloc's economy is seen posting similar results in the current quarter, with no growth expected until the start of next year.