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Euro area private sector growth slows further in March

Euro area business activity

Business activity in the euro area private sector slowed further in March, adding to growth outlook concerns, IHS Markit data released on Friday showed.

The flash composite purchasing managers index (PMI) dropped to 51.3 in March, compared to a previous reading of 51.9.

The drag came from the manufacturing sector, as it widened contraction to 47.6, the lowest level in six years this month from 49.3 in February, while the services PMI inched lower to 52.7 from 52.8.  

“The eurozone economy ended the first quarter on a soft note, with the flash PMI running at one of the lowest levels seen since 2014. The survey indicates that GDP likely rose by a modest 0.2% in the opening quarter,” said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit.

As of 09:25 GMT, the euro continued to trade lower versus the U.S. dollar at 1.1297, as it extended its drop from a six-week high of 1.1448.

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