Business activity in the euro zone fell to a 16-month low in November, according to data released on Wednesday, confirming fears that the region’s economy is faltering.
Final euro zone composite Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) data from Markit came in at 51.1 in November, below flash estimates of 51.4 released last month. It marks a fall from October’s final reading of 52.1.
The composite reading measures both manufacturing and services activity, with the 50-point mark separating contraction from expansion.
The figures could put more pressure on the European Central Bank (ECB) to increase stimulus measures ahead of its next monetary policy announcement on Thursday. There is growing pressure on the bank to start buying government bonds, although Germany has opposed the move to date.
The euro zone data was preceded by disappointing services PMI figures for Germany and France, the euro zone’s largest and second-largest economies respectively.
The slowdown across the 18-country region reflected weakness in new order inflows, as new business fell for the first time since July last year. Job creation also remained near-stagnant, Markit said.