The purchasing managers’ index for February continued on a downward slope, albeit not quite so steeply as Germany and the Netherlands reported gains and France stabilized. But for peripheral eurozone countries the story was different, with both Spain and Italy falling and Greece setting a new record for drops in both new output and orders.
According to the Markit Economics PMI for February, the data did not change its estimate from its flash report earlier in the month at 49.0; however, even as Ireland eked out a small improvement–falling by the least in four months–Greece continued to tumble. Spain and Italy were down substantially as well, although Italy had eased somewhat from its previous pace.
Job creation in Germany was down substantially, darkening the picture for what has been one of the most dependable economic pictures in Europe. It fell sharply to record the weakest gains in its current two-year rise.