There is fresh evidence that the eurozone’s problems are undermining the region’s strongest economy – Germany.
Even though the country’s industrial output remains relatively robust, new orders fell more than expected in June.
They were down 1.7 percent month-on-month, adjusted for seasonal factors.
Contracts from elsewhere in the eurozone fell by 4.9 percent on the month while domestically they dropped by 2.1 percent.
The only bright spot was orders from non-eurozone countries, which were up by 0.6 percent from the previous month.
The figures add to increasing signs of gloom in Germany, where the manufacturing sector shrank at its fastest pace in more than three years in July while new orders in the service sector declined to the weakest level in just over three years.
UK royal slump
Data just released show that Britain’s manufacturing output shrank by 2.9 percent in June.
One reason for the lowered output was a number of extra public holidays to celebrate the Queen Elizabeth II’s 60 years on the throne.
The decline was, however, slightly smaller than initially estimated.
At the same time a leading think-tank said Britain’s economy contracted slightly in the three months ending in July.
Gross domestic product fell by 0.2 percent in the period, after official data showed a sharp contraction of 0.7 percent between April and June, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research said in its monthly estimate.
The UK economy continues to suffer from the effects of the eurozone debt crisis and a domestic austerity programme.