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The downturn in the eurozone’s private sector has eased going into 2012, thanks to an upturn in Germany.
But the latest Purchasing Managers Index suggests that the eurozone as a whole is still on course for recession.
Markit’s Eurozone Composite PMI rose from 47 in November to 48.3 in December – but that’s still below the key 50-point mark which indicates growth.
Rob Dobson is Markit’s Senior Economist…
“The periphery has been a problem for a number of months and continues to be so. And until other factors that are hitting confidence, such as the ongoing debt crisis, the global economic slowdown, which we seem to be seeing, are resolved, then the periphery is going to be at a competitive disadvantage.”
The eurozone services PMI, which looks at companies ranging from banks to restaurants, also rose in December. But it was still the fourth month below the 50-point mark and unemployment was also up, now topping 10%.
Spain and Greece have the most people out of work, with labor markets in Germany and France relatively strong.
But Markit says Italy and Spain are probably already in recession. It’s also warning that the divide between struggling economies and the likes of Germany and France continues to grow.