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Euro-Area Manufacturing Slump Eases But Job Losses Continue

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 12/2/2019 Yuko Takeo

(Bloomberg) --

Euro-zone factory activity rose to a three-month high last month, though job losses continued as the sector remained stuck in a slump.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index for the 19-nation euro region rose slightly to 46.9 in November as confidence improved and a drop in new orders slowed.

The reading was up from a preliminary 46.6 but still below the 50 mark that divides contraction from expansion. Job losses were sustained for a seventh month.

“The survey data for the fourth quarter so far are indicating a quarterly rate of contraction in excess of 1% for manufacturing,” said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit. The PMI “nonetheless brings some encouraging signals which will fuel speculation that the worst is over for euro area producers, barring any new set-backs -- notably in relation to Brexit and trade wars.”

On another positive note, there was a “notable” improvement in business confidence to a five-month high, as sentiment recovered from August’s seven-year low, IHS Markit said.

Euro-area manufacturing is taking time to recover from slump© Bloomberg Euro-area manufacturing is taking time to recover from slump

Job losses were again most notable in Germany and Austria. In contrast, jobs growth was seen in France, Greece and the Netherlands.

To contact the reporter on this story: Yuko Takeo in Tokyo at

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