Business activity in the eurozone expanded this month at its weakest rate since the start of last year.
The latest surveys of the region’s businesses found a big split between manufacturings, which is buoyant with increasing new orders, and the service sector which is struggling.
The business surveys produced a mixed picture for the eurozone’s two biggest economies with France improving and Germany slowing.
French business activity hit a 15-month high, while Germany’s private sector growth was at a 16-month low, suggesting the powerhouse of the currency bloc may have lost momentum.
The results add to the feeling among economists that the European Central Bank’s extraordinary stimulus measures in recent years are unable to achieve much more.
The bank itself has been preaching for some time that additional government economic reforms are needed on top of low interest rates and money printing.
One thing that might cheer the ECB is that the business surveys showed firms stopped cutting prices for the first time in a year, which could help get inflation up near its two percent target ceiling.
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