Euro zone economy remains weak but green shoots emerging: PMIs

LONDON             -          Euro zone business activ­ity remained lacklustre at the start of the year, a survey showed a day af­ter the European Central Bank said the manufactur­ing sector remained a drag on the economy, but there were some glimmers of hope for policymakers. ECB rate-setters did not make any policy change on Thursday, standing by their pledge to keep buy­ing bonds and, if needed, cut interest rates until price growth in the euro zone heads back to their goal. Still, the slowdown in euro zone economic activity has probably bot­tomed out, according to a Reuters poll last week, which showed while the outlook for growth and inflation remained luke­warm the chances of a recession have faded. [ECILT/EU] That out­look was somewhat sup­ported by IHS Markit’s Euro Zone Composite Flash Purchasing Man­agers’ Index (PMI), seen as a good gauge of eco­nomic health, which held at 50.9 in January but missed the median prediction in a Reuters poll for 51.2.

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