Nov 3 (Reuters) – Euro zone manufacturing activity expanded slightly slower than first thought last month as further discounts at the factory gate failed to drive up new orders, a business survey showed on Monday.
A second month of price cutting, alongside only tepid expansion in Germany – the euro zone’s growth engine – and contractions in France and Italy, will be disconcerting for the European Central Bank as it battles to prevent deflation.
Economic growth stalled in the second quarter. With inflation at just 0.4 percent in October, the ECB is facing pressure to introduce more stimulus.
Markit’s final October manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index was 50.6, beating September’s 50.3 but shy of an earlier flash estimate of 50.7. October marked the 16th month the index has been above the 50 line that separates growth from contraction.
An index measuring output, which feeds into a composite PMI due on Wednesday that is seen as a good indicator of growth, rose to 51.5 from September’s 51.0, although that too was lower than the flash reading, which came in at 51.9.