Euro Zone Set to Keep Contracting
WALL STREET JOURNAL: … Data provider Markit said the composite Purchasing Managers’ Index for the euro zone fell to 47.9 in February from 48.6 in January. The sub-50 reading means activity across the currency bloc’s manufacturing and services sectors declined month-to-month.
The figures mean euro-zone gross domestic product will probably fall in the first quarter—albeit not as rapidly as in the fourth quarter of last year—and may not show growth until the tail-end of the year, said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.
That is a problem for euro-zone governments who hope they can make further cuts to borrowing without hurting their economies.
The inconclusive elections in Italy last week showed waning support for austerity measures as the economy continues to shrink and unemployment climbs… (more)