Service sector activity in Italy contracted at the fastest pace in five months in November, underlining concerns over the economic outlook of the euro zone’s third-largest economy, data showed on Wednesday.
In a report, market research group Markit said that its Italian services purchasing managers’ index fell to a seasonally adjusted 47.2 in November from a reading of 50.5 in October.
Analysts had expected the index to dip to 50.2 last month.
A reading above 50.0 on the index indicates industry expansion, below indicates contraction.
Commenting on the report, Phil Smith, economist at Markit said, “November’s renewed decline in service sector activity raises serious doubts over whether Italy will exit from recession in the final quarter.”
Following the release of the data, the euro was modestly lower against the U.S. dollar, with EUR/USD easing down 0.07% to trade at 1.3580.
Meanwhile, European stock markets were mixed after the open. Italy FTSE MIB 40 inched up 0.1%, the EURO STOXX 50 fell 0.1%, France’s CAC 40 rose 0.25%, London’s FTSE 100 was flat, while Germany''s DAX added 0.15%.
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