Any economic recovery analysts and politicians might have hoped for in the eurozone will be put off for some time. PMI data for the first month of the second quarter was particularly weak. Markit reported that:
The Markit Eurozone PMI Composite Output Index fell to a five-month low in April, according to the preliminary ‘flash’ reading which is based on around 85% of usual monthly replies. The index fell for the third month in a row to 47.4, down from 49.1 in March, to signal a faster rate of decline of private sector economic activity. Output has fallen seven times in the past eight months.
The news was especially bad because it shows the strongest nations in Europe economically have started to slow along with the weakest ones. The Flash France Composite Output Index declined to 46.8, a 6-month low. The Flash Germany Composite Output Index was at 50.9, a 5-month low. The region’s economy cannot recovery when its two largest nations by GDP have started to struggle.