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Index Signals Eurozone Recession

The eurozone is likely entering a recession, with the fall in manufacturing orders the sharpest since 2009. The benchmark Purchasing Managers’ Index has fallen for six straight months.

The index of purchasing managers compiled by S&P Global slumped to its lowest level since April 2013, barring months when there were pandemic lockdowns.

Manufacturing and energy-intensive sectors like chemicals and plastics reported the steepest output loss. The European Commission said on October 17 that the European Power Benchmark was €191/MWh on average in Q2 2022 -- 181% higher year on year.

Activity in the services sector also continued to fall at an accelerating rate amid the ongoing cost of living crisis.

Germany reported the steepest economic contraction, with the composite PMI sinking to 44.1, its lowest since May 2020. Manufacturing and service sectors both reported steep and accelerated rates of contraction. Growth in France merely stalled, registering 50.0 from 51.2 in September -- the first month in which output has failed to grow since March 2021.

“The eurozone economy looks set to contract in the fourth quarter given the steepening loss of output and deteriorating demand picture seen in October, adding to speculation that a recession is looking increasingly inevitable,” Chris Williamson, an economist at S&P Global, said on Monday (October 24) in a statement.

S&P Global’s PMI amalgamates five survey variables into one index to provide an overall picture of the economy’s health. The PMI is compiled for more than 40 economies worldwide.