Business activity in the eurozone contracted at its fastest pace in almost three-and-a-half years in October, a survey suggests.
The Markit Flash Eurozone Purchasing Managers’ (PMI) Composite Output Index fell to 45.8, from 46.1 in September. A figure below 50 indicates contraction.
The reading is consistent with a quarterly rate of economic contraction in the bloc of 0.5%, Markit said.
Firms also continued to cut employment, but at a slightly slower rate.
The figures represent an initial estimate based on 85% of the normal number of monthly responses, and so are likely to be revised slightly.
Earlier, PMI figures collected by HSBC bank showed that manufacturing activity in China in October slowed at a slower pace than in previous months. The country’s PMI hit 49.1, up from 47.9 in September and the highest level in three months.
Separately, a survey by the UK’s CBI business group found that manufacturing orders in the three months to October fell in the UK, while output from the sector was flat. The balance between those companies that saw output rise and those that saw it fall hit its lowest level in three years.
However, manufacturers said they expected a modest recovery in output in the next three months.