The activity of the industry in the eurozone dropped further in May. The index is therefore approaching the lowest level in six years and weak orders and the shrinking labor market offer little hope for rapid improvement.
The purchasing managers’ index for the industry went to a level of 47.7, from 47.9 a month earlier, according to definitive figures from British market researcher Markit. A level below 50 indicates contraction, above that growth. Economists had generally expected a score of 44.7, the same as an earlier estimate. The new orders went to 46.6 from 45.8 in April.
Industry activity also declined in Germany. This was the fifth monthly fall in a row. The purchasing managers’ index for the industry went to a level of 44.3, from 44.4 a month earlier. Economists had generally expected a score of 44.3.
Business in the United Kingdom also contracted, while economists generally took growth into account. The purchasing managers’ index for the country recorded a score of 49.4, from 53.1 in the previous month.
In France there was a slight increase in activity in the industry. The index was 50.6, compared to 50.0 a month earlier.