The Eurozone’s manufacturing sector contracted for the 11th consecutive month, according to newly released figures.
IHS Markit’s Eurozone Purchasing Mangers’ Index (PMI), which measures conditions in the manufacturing and services sector, for December sank to 46.3 from 46.9.
Figures feeding into the PMI figure showed that orders and output had both dipped for the month.
Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit said: “Euro zone manufacturers reported a dire end to 2019, with output falling at a rate not exceeded since 2012.
“Although firms grew somewhat more optimistic about the year ahead, a return to growth remains a long way off given that new order inflows continued to fall at one of the fastest rates seen over the past seven years.”
The figures were particularly poor for Germany, which was the worst performing country.
The Netherlands and Italy experienced their largest monthly declines in six and a half years, while France saw a small gain.
IHS Markit’s principal economist Phil Smith described Germany as the “thorn in the side” of the European economy.