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No signs of recovery for euro zone manufacturing as Germany joins the downturn

By Gwynn Guilford
euPublished Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

There was a slew of purchasing managers’ index data for Europe out today.  Here’s what you need to know about the outlook for EU manufacturing.

Euro zone manufacturing activity shrank for the 21st consecutive month, with new export business falling faster than they have in four months (pdf).

Manufacturers actually reported upticks in demand from the US and China, meaning deteriorating export orders was due in large part to a drop-off in trade between euro zone countries. Here’s a look at those shared fortunes:

Output, new orders, and jobs in Germany’s manufacturing sector all fell in April. Business conditions are worsening at the fastest pace since last December (pdf).

Squinting for a silver lining here, the rate of manufacturing sector declines in France, Spain, Italy, and Greece all slowed somewhat. But their data also showed building deflationary pressure. Here’s France (pdf):

There’s nothing to suggest “an end is in sight” for the “downturn in Spanish manufacturing output,” writes Markit’s Andrew Harker (pdf).

Italy’s manufacturing sector saw the 23rd straight month of decline in new orders (pdf), with export business at its slowest so far in 2013.

The decline in Greek manufacturing activity hit the slowest rate since June 2011 (pdf), signaling that events in Cyprus didn’t disrupt new export orders.

For some relatively good news, we have to leave euro zone proper. Across the channel, UK construction activity “was closer to stabilization than at any time since October 2012,” writes Markit’s Tim Moore (pdf), building on yesterday’s trend.

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