FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Eurozone business grew at the slowest rate this year in September, reflecting falling demand in the region where new orders were the weakest in almost a year, surveys showed on Friday.
Firms cut prices at a faster rate last month, underscoring the difficulty the European Central Bank is likely to have in bringing persistently low inflation back up, especially with weak demand for goods and services in a stagnating economy.
Indeed, inflation is at a five-year low of just 0.3 per cent and the bloc’s economy stagnated in the second quarter.
Markit’s Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index, which is based on surveys of thousands of companies across the region and is seen as a good gauge of growth, fell to a ten-month low of 52.0, well below August’s 52.5.
That final reading was also weaker than a preliminary estimate of 52.3, although it was the 15th month above the 50 line that denotes growth.