Eurozone data shows fragile economic growth

A French factory worker Markit's data is based on a survey of 5,000 firms across the eurozone

Related Stories

Further evidence of the eurozone's fragile economic recovery came on Wednesday in two sets of data.

Eurostat, the EU's statistics agency, said retail sales in the 17-nation bloc fell 0.6% in September from August.

Meanwhile, Markit's composite purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell to 51.9 points in October from 52.2 in September.

The reading was, however, still above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction.

The sets of data came a day before the European Central Bank (ECB) is due to announce its latest decision on interest rates.

September is the final month of the third quarter, so Eurostat's retail data could impact on official quarterly GDP figures.

The eurozone emerged from an 18-month recession in the second quarter with growth of 0.3%, but other recent data has also pointed to a slowdown in the pace of growth.

Howard Archer, chief economist at Global Insight, said: "September's relapse in retail sales fuels suspicion that consumers across the eurozone will likely remain pretty cautious in their spending in the near term.

"Significantly, retail sales fell back sharply in Portugal - by 6.2% month-on-month - and Spain - by 2.5% month-on-month - in September". And he added: "German consumers have been generally reluctant overall to significantly step up their spending on a sustained basis in an uncertain environment."


Markit's PMI reading of 51.9 for October is an upward revision of an initial 'flash' estimate of 51.5 points published last month. But it was still down from September's 27-month high.

Markit's chief economist, Chris Williamson, said the "loss of momentum raises concerns that the upturn is faltering".

He said that data, coming a day after the European Commission downgraded its 2014 eurozone growth forecast to 1.1% from 1.2%, would make for sober reading at the ECB.

The survey, based on some 5,000 firms in the single currency area, "piles pressure" on the ECB "to reinvigorate the recovery," especially with "concerns about deflation taking hold," he said.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Business stories


BBC Business Live

    Reckitt Benckiser products

    Reckitt Benckiser says it now expects full year revenue growth at the lower end of its total revenue growth target of 4-5%. The firm "delivered a robust performance in tougher markets in the third quarter" it said.

    07:00: CHINA GROWTH BBC Radio 4

    China's economy grew by 7.3% in the three months to September, compared with expectations of 7.2%. But it's still the lowest growth in six years. The BBC's Chief Business Correspondent Linda Yueh tells the Today programme Chinese monetary policymakers want to slow the Chinese economic growth gradually and allow the rest of the world to get used to it. China is becoming a "middle income economy" she says and will revert to a normal path for a developed economy over time of around 3% to 4%.

    Via Twitter Linda Yueh Chief business correspondent

    tweets: My interview with CEO of Oscar de la Renta fashion house, Alex Bolen, from Talking Business

    06:41: ENGINEERING SKILLS Radio 5 live

    We don't have enough engineers in the UK or scientists for that matter argues Ann Watson of Semta, an engineering skills charity, on 5 live. She says: "We need a million scientists, engineers and technicians by 2020, We are starting to see a shortage in education; people training those recruits." The perception of engineering as a "dirty, oily industry" doesn't help, she says.

    06:30: STOCK MARKET Radio 5 live

    Jane Foley, senior currency strategist at Rabobank is on 5 live talking about the falling stock market. "If we see stocks fall more we may see companies bargain hunting," she says. So more firms may start purchasing each other.

    06:21: HEATHROW TRAVEL Radio 5 live

    Travel writer Simon Calder is on 5 live talking about the weather. He says he sees about 50 weather-related cancellations at Heathrow, so perhaps about 5% of flights so far. Flights to Frankfurt look hard to come by, he says.


    Heathrow airport has said this morning that around 10% of flights will be cancelled today as the remnants of Hurricane Gonzalo hit the UK. Flights with the 20 biggest carriers would be affected, it says. British Airways has already cancelled some ahead of the expected severe weather. The remains of the hurricane are predicted to bring heavy rain and gusts of up to 75mph in some areas, causing disruption to rush-hour travel. If you're travelling today it's worth checking before you arrive at the airport.

    06:02: TOTAL CEO DEATH Radio 5 live

    Christophe de Margerie, the chief executive of French oil company Total, has died in an air crash in Moscow. Sarah Rainsford, the BBC's correspondent in Moscow says poor weather with low visibility is a possible cause of the crash. His plane crashed when it collided with a snow-clearing machine killing him and three crew, she tells 5 live.

    06:01: Howard Mustoe Business reporter

    Good morning! Get in touch via email or on twitter @BBCBusiness.

    06:00: Matthew West Business reporter

    Morning folks, we have the latest public borrowing figures out at 9:30 today. But before that we have full year results from online retailer ASOS, and interim figures from Whitbread, plus the weather is promising to play havoc with the transport network today with 10% of flights out of Heathrow already cancelled this morning. We'll bring you everything as it happens.



From BBC Capital


  • Ade Adepitan at the ColosseumThe Travel Show Watch

    The challenge of providing disabled access at Europe’s leading ancient monuments

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.