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Euro zone downturn eases slightly

Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - 01:22

Dec. 5 - The euro zone's economic slump was a little less pronounced in November, although there are few signs the region will emerge from recession any time soon. Joanne Nicholson reports.

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Some light relief for the euro zone - its overall business performance has risen - albeit modestly. It's slightly up at 46.5 but that's still below the 50 points considered healthy, says Chris Williamson from the survey's provider Markit. SOUNDBITE (English) CHRIS WILLIAMSON, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MARKIT ECONOMICS, SAYING: "While there are some signs of it easing, particularly in Germany, the difficulty is we can't see any return to growth any day soon. It looks like maybe the beginning of next year you could see some improvement. And much depends on all the factors that have been hampering business confidence in the euro area, and with banking unity as one case in point, suggests there's no quick resolution to this." There's no one reason for the upward revision to the Purchasing Manager's index - it could simply be down to a stronger end to the month for businesses. The euro zone's economy is still in recession - down 0.1 percent in the third quarter. Italy, Spain AND France were the biggest drags in November. In manufacturing the decline wasn't as fast as in the past seven months. And the service sector saw its slowest decline for three months. But it's still a picture of decline - the euro zone looks unlikely to emerge from recession any time soon.

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Euro zone downturn eases slightly

Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - 01:22