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France, eurozone countries' manufacturing shrinks in December

 
 
 
 
 
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The Euro logo outside the headquarters of the European Central Bank, Frankfurt am Main Germany.

Manufacturing sectors in France and other eurozone countries have entered 2013 in a downward trend as new data shows a decrease in demand of orders.

Contractions of manufacturing in the eurozone in December included all top four economies in the bloc, according to Markit’s manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) released on Wednesday.

All had a manufacturing PMI score below 50 with Germany scoring 46.0, France 44.6, Italy 46.7 and Spain 44.6. The ratings indicate a contraction for the level of output and orders of companies in a country.

“The eurozone manufacturing sector remained entrenched in a steep downturn at the end of the year,” Markit Chief Economist Chris Williamson said.

“The region’s recession therefore looks likely to have deepened, possibly quite significantly, in the final quarter,” he added.

The end of 2012 marked France and Germany’s tenth consecutive month of declining manufacturing activity.

France reduced its rate of decline slightly from November, but Germany fell at a higher rate in the same period.

The data comes as the eurozone debt crisis worsened in the last quarter of 2012.

Businesses in Europe have grown weary of the strength of the euro, which gave a knock-on effect to investments of new employees and company expansion plans.

The financial crisis in Europe started in 2008. Now experts predict a gloomy outlook for eurozone economies in 2013.

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