Eurozone business growth cooled in September for a second consecutive month, dropping to its slowest pace since December, a survey suggests.
The latest Markit Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 52.3 from August’s 52.5.
A reading above 50 indicates growth.
Modest growth in Europe’s biggest economy, Germany, provided some cheer, but the eurozone was brought down by stagnation elsewhere, particularly in France, where PMI fell to 49.1.
Manufacturing across the eurozone fared worse than the service sector, with the PMI reading falling to 50.5, the lowest measure since July of last year.
“The survey paints a picture of ongoing malaise in the eurozone economy,” said Chris Williamson, Markit’s chief economist.
“With growth of output and demand slowing, employment once again failed to show any meaningful increase. Such torpor meant prices continued to fall as firms fought for customers, which will inevitably heighten concerns that the region is facing deflation.”
He added that the European Central Bank (ECB), which is faced with the task of warding off deflation, would be “disappointed” by the PMI numbers.