In a sign that Germany is on the cusp of a recession that would harm the overall recovery of the European Union, its manufacturing sector suffered a severe blow. The flash PMI measurement slipped to 46.3 in December. A number below 50 is a signal of contraction.
If Germany is the light of the European economy, it has gone out. That may make it less likely that the nation will want to fund more bailouts around the region. Across the rest of Europe, there was a sign that the recession may have made a bottom, at least temporarily.
Research operation Markit reported:
The Markit Eurozone PMI Composite Output Index rose to a nine-month high in December according to the flash estimate, up for the second successive month from 46.5 in November to 47.3. However, while the PMI suggests that the downturn may have reached its strongest back in October, the survey continues to signal a steep overall rate of decline, with business activity levels having now fallen in 15 of the past 16 months.
Douglas A. McIntyre