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Euro zone manufacturing growth sinks to 18-month low, unemployment up

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by Kay Mitchell
”Euro

Manufacturing activity in the 17-member euro zone fell in June to an 18-month low, figures showed today.

The Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) posted a reading of 52.0 in June from May’s reading of 54.6.

However, the index continues to remain above the crucial 50 level which indicates expansion.

The slowdown was attributed to the nation’s weaker economies, which continue to struggle amid the debt crisis.

Manufacturing activity in Spain and Italy slowed significantly.

Germany and France, the main drivers behind economic growth in the 17-member nation, also noted a slowdown.

In the UK, manufacturing growth dived to a 21-month low.

Commenting on the figures, Markit said: “Increasing numbers of countries are showing signs of sliding back into recession.”

In related news, the European Union’s statistics office Eurostat revealed unemployment crept up in May but had no effect on the jobless rate which held steady at 9.9%.

The figures were broadly in line with expectations with unemployment rising by 16,000 in May.

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News posted: July 1, 2011

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