Euro-area services and manufacturing output shrank for a 15th straight month in April and retail sales fell in March as the 17-nation economy struggled to emerge from recession.
A composite index based on a survey of purchasing managers in the manufacturing and services industries increased to 46.9 last month from 46.5 in March, London-based Markit Economics said in a report today. While above an initial estimate of 46.5 published on April 23, it was still below 50, indicating contraction. Retail sales declined for a second month in March, another report showed.
The euro-area economy will shrink more than previously estimated in 2013 as part of a two-year slump that has pushed unemployment to a record high, the European Commission said on May 3. The European Central Bank last week reduced its key interest rate to an all-time low after confidence was shaken by political turmoil in Italy and a bailout of Cyprus.
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