The recovery of the euro zone’s dominant service sector sagged in September.
The latest survey of companies’ purchasing managers by financial information firm Markit found Ireland and Spain tipping back into decline and the services index in Italy virtually unchanged.
Offsetting that, there were strong growth readings from Germany and France, though they did slow slightly.
British companies bucked a slowing trend, although the UK survey showed poor new orders signalling weaker times ahead.
The service sector in Ireland, whose government last week revealed a spiralling of its banking sector bailout, contracted for the first time in six months thanks to a sharp drop in new orders.
Spain saw its service sector recede at a faster pace in September as it too prepares for more austerity and years of high unemployment.