The euro area services’ sector expansion eased on May on slowdown in the region’s two biggest economies Germany and France, the services Purchasing Managers’ Index showed on Tuesday.
Services PMI in the 19-nation region retreated to 53.8 in May from 54.7 in April. That was lower than both initial and predicted readings of 53.8.
The Composite PMI of manufacturing and services remained unchanged at 54.1, the lowest level in 18 months.
“The region is on course for its worst quarter since 2016,” said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit.
The euro traded slightly higher at $1.1700, where it plunged to a 10-month bottom last week amid on political concerns from Italy and Spain.
Meanwhile, expectations are in favor of seeing an extension in the ECB’s
asset purchases program beyond September.