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Eurozone Private Sector Growth Slows Less Than Expected In January

Eurozone's private sector growth eased at a slower pace than estimated initially, but expansion slowed for a fifth straight month to is lowest level in five-and-a-half years, survey data from IHS Markit showed on Tuesday.

The final Composite Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 51.0 from December's 51.1. The flash reading was 50.7.

A PMI score above 50 suggests growth in the sector.

France and Italy led the private sector slowdown at the start of the year. The French composite PMI fell to a 50-month low of 48.2, which was better than the flash score of 47.9.

The Italian measure eased to a 62-month low of 48.8.

Germany's composite PMI climbed to a two-month high of 52.1, unchanged from the initial reading, and the Spanish measure hit a 7-month high of 54.5.

Manufacturing led the private sector slowdown in January, while service sector growth was unchanged since December at around a four-year low. Output growth in manufacturing was the weakest in over five-and-a-half years.

The final Eurozone Services PMI revealed a score of 51.2, unchanged from December's 49-month low. The flash reading was 50.8.

"The PMI indicates that GDP is growing at a quarterly rate of just 0.1 percent, setting the scene for the region's worst quarter since 2013," Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at IHS Markit, said.

"Such a weak start to the year would mean the current consensus forecast for 1.5 percent GDP growth in 2019 is likely to be revised lower, and hence lead to more dovish signals from the ECB."

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