The Eurozone economy closes out 2019 mired in its worst spell since 2013, with businesses struggling against the headwinds of near-stagnant demand and gloomy prospects for the year ahead.
The economy has been stuck in crawler gear for fourth straight months, with indications of GDP growing at a quarterly rate of just 0.1%.
There are scant signs of any imminent improvement. New order growth remains largely stalled and job creation has almost ground to a halt, down to its lowest for over five years as companies seek to reduce overheads in the weak trading environment and uncertain outlook.
While service sector growth remains encouragingly resilient in the face of the manufacturing downturn, any further softening of the labour market could cause weakness to spill over. Germany’s steep manufacturing downturn has added to the chance of its economy contracting slightly in the fourth quarter, but France is enjoying a more resilient performance, providing a key area of support to help keep the eurozone growing.