Business

Eurozone manufacturing shrinks in September

German factory worker
Image caption Markit says the German economy, the eurozone's main engine of growth, is stalling

Manufacturing in the eurozone shrank at its fastest pace in two years in September, a business survey has shown.

Markit's purchasing managers' index (PMI) of activity dropped to 48.5 last month, from 49 in August. A reading below 50 indicates contraction.

That is the second consecutive month that eurozone manufacturing has shrunk.

Greece, the focal point of the eurozone's debt crisis, saw its output contract for the 25th consecutive month.

"Manufacturers are reporting the worst business conditions for over two years, facing a combination of lacklustre domestic demand and falling export sales," said Chris Williamson, Markit's chief economist.

The region has been weighed down as leaders struggle to prove that heavily indebted countries, led by Greece, will be able to avoid defaulting on their debts.

This has led to bailouts for Greece, the Irish Republic and Portugal - but the crisis has continued and has weighed on bonds and stocks globally.

Even in Germany, the engine of European economic growth, Markit's survey showed factory activity has come to a standstill.

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