Eurozone business activity grew at a slower pace in May, a survey has indicated, increasing pressure on the European Central Bank (ECB) to take steps to boost growth.
The final Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) from research firm Markit dipped to 53.5, down from 54.0 in April, and short of an initial 53.9 estimate.
However, it remained above the 50 level indicating expansion.
German businesses saw strong growth, but French business activity fell.
The slower rate of growth came despite firms cutting their prices for the 26th month in a row.
Despite the slower pace of expansion, Markit said its data suggested the eurozone was on track to record economic growth of 0.4% to 0.5% for the second quarter of the year.
If realised this would mark the eurozone’s best quarterly performance for three years.
However, Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit said its survey suggested “an uneven, stuttering and lacklustre recovery”.
“The overall rate of growth is just not strong enough to allow firms to push through price hikes. This is perhaps the final nail in the coffin for hopes of a robust recovery without stimulus,” he added.
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