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The  Eurozone  manufacturing sector activity fell deeper into contraction in the month of March, the latest manufacturing activity survey from IHS/Markit research showed.

The Eurozone manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) dropped further to 47.6 in March vs. 49.5 expected and 49.3 last while the services PMI fell to 2-month tops of 52.7 vs. 52.8  last.

The IHS Markit Eurozone PMI Composite declined from 51.9 in February to 51.3 in March, hitting fresh 2-month lows.

Comments from  Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at IHS Markit:

“The Eurozone economy ended the first quarter on a soft note, with the flash PMI running at one of the lowest levels seen since 2014. The survey indicates that GDP likely rose by a modest 0.2% in the opening quarter, with a decline in manufacturing output in the region of 0.5% being offset by an expansion of service sector output of approximately 0.3%.”

“A rebound in February from one-off factors such as the yellow vest protests in France appears to have already lost momentum. Most worrying is the plight of the manufacturing sector, which is now in its deepest downturn since 2013 as trade flows contracted at the sharpest rate since the debt crisis-ridden days of 2012. The service sector is showing more resilience, notably in Germany, but remains in one of its worst growth patches since 2016.”