Eurozone businesses are ending the year in slightly better shape than expected, but growth remains weak, particularly in Europe’s biggest economy, Germany
Companies are also still having to cut prices to keep their sales up.
It was the 33rd month of price reductions.
Surveys of thousands of firms did reveal a renewed upturn in the region’s smaller periphery countries.
In France, the second biggest economy in the currency bloc, there was a continued decline, but the downturn in the private sector did ease this month.
The French services industry came close to expanding, suggesting the worse may be over there amid reports of improving business morale.