A slowdown in business in the eurozone was worse than expected in October, with a purchasing managers’ index indicating a lack of confidence leading to additional job losses and hitting its lowest level since the region came out of its last recession more than three years ago.
Reuters reported Wednesday that Markit’s Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dropped in October from September’s 46.1 to 45.8. A Reuters poll of experts had predicted the PMI to rise instead to 46.4. A Bloomberg survey had been even more optimistic, expecting an increase to 46.5.
Even Germany and France are suffering, with the composite PMI for Germany under 50—the mark considered the dividing line between contraction and expansion—for the sixth straight month. In France, it was even worse, logging its eighth straight month under 50.
“It’s very disappointing, it’s a depressing scenario as things are getting worse,” said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, in the report. He added, “We are more downbeat than the official data. The PMIs are running at levels in the third quarter and start of the fourth quarter historically consistent with GDP falling at about 0.6%.”