Confirming the general weakness in Eurozone manufacturing activity, the Purchasing Managers' Index, or PMI for the sector stood below the neutral level for the third straight month in August. Markit Economic's manufacturing PMI for August came in at 47.6, slightly higher than the original lash estimate of 47.5. This was the third successive month in which the PMI remained below the make or break 50 level which marks the difference between an increase and a decrease in production, new orders and employment. The index was below the 50-mark all the big-four Eurozone nations.
Almost all of the national manufacturing sectors surveyed reported lower production, with Germany recording a drop in output for the first time since August 2005, thus ending a thirty-five month period of continuous expansion that has been the most sustained in the entire German survey history.
The contraction of French manufacturing sector gathered pace, with the manufacturing PMI dropping to the weakest since January 2002, the Markit/CDAF survey showed. The indicator now stands at 45.8, down from July's 47.1. The initial estimate was 45.1 for August.
The Markit/ADACI survey showed that the Italian manufacturing PMI climbed to 47.1 in August from 45.3 in July. The Italian manufacturers experienced tough operating conditions as output and new orders declined in August.
The Spanish manufacturing PMI, reported the third lowest level in the ten-year survey history. The index stood at 42.4 in August, up from 39.2 in July, the survey conducted by Markit Economics revealed.
Among others, the Manufacturing PMI for the Netherlands improved in August, although it remained below the boom-or-bust level, results of a survey by Markit Economics showed. The Dutch NEVI/DPA Purchasing Managers' index increased to 49.8 in August from 48 in July, mainly due to an increase in production levels and a slower rate of decline in new orders. Ireland's NCB Manufacturing PMI rose to 44.9 in August from July's record low.
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