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Eurozone Manufacturing Contraction Slows In April

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Eurozone's manufacturing sector shrunk at a slower pace in April, survey data from IHS Markit showed on Thursday.

The Manufacturing purchasing managers' index, or PMI, rose to 47.9 in April from 47.5 in March. The flash reading was 47.8 in April.

However, any reading below 50 indicates a contraction in the sector. The manufacturing sector has contracted for the three successive months.

"The survey's output index is indicative of factory production falling at a quarterly rate of approximately 1%, setting the scene for the goods producing sector to act as a major drag on the economy in the second quarter," Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at IHS Markit, said.

The consumer goods sub-category continued to expand, rising to a modest level in April.

New orders continued to fall in April amid a sustained weakness in export demand. Backlogs of works were reduced significantly since November 2012.

Purchasing activity reduced in April for a fifth successive month, with the pace of contraction same as in March's near six-year record.

Supplier performance improved to the strongest since August 2012.

Though the other components declined, employment recorded an increase in April.

Input price inflation strengthened slightly during April, though the rates were weaker than those seen during 2017 and 2018. Output charges increased modestly at the slowest rate for nearly two-and-a-half years.

Manufacturers remained confident of a return to output growth for the next 12 months. The level of optimism remained weak and was slightly higher than March's 75-month low.

Germany's manufacturing PMI rose slightly to 44.4 in April from 44.1 in the previous month. Flash reading was 44.5.

France's factory PMI rose to 50.0 in April from 49.7 in March. The flash reading was 49.6.

Italy's manufacturing PMI rose to 49.1in April from 47.4 in March. Economists had expected a score of 47.7.

Spain's manufacturing PMI grew to 51.8 in April from 50.9 in the prior month.

Greece's factory PMI expanded to 56.6 in April from 54.7 in March.

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