The Markit Eurozone Manufacturing PMI report did not have a single good thing in it. Not only did the region’s activity contract, it also contracted in most of the eurozone’s largest nations by gross domestic product.
Along with a string of data about financial trouble, high unemployment, falling wages and labor unrest, the report will used by many proponents of austerity to prove their case. Europe needs stimulus to be lifted out of what could be the second deep recession in five years.
The Markit PMI report said:
Eurozone manufacturing started the second quarter of 2013 on a weak footing, with conditions in the sector deteriorating at the sharpest pace in the year-to-date.
At 46.7 in April, down slightly from 46.8 in March, the seasonally adjusted Markit Final Eurozone Manufacturing PMI signalled contraction for the twenty-first successive month — despite edging up from the earlier flash estimate of 46.5.
All of the national PMI indices signalled contraction in April. Rates of decline accelerated in Germany, Ireland and Austria, but eased in France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Greece. The four worst performing nations nonetheless remained France, Italy, Greece and Spain
The fact that France could be mentioned in the same sentence as Greece and Spain is the most unsettling of all the data.