A day ahead of European Central Bank meeting, eurozone data disappoint again

Markets Associated Press

Further evidence has emerged to suggest the 18-country eurozone is more likely to sink back into recession than rebound strongly.

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Though the purchasing managers' index — a broad gauge of business activity — from financial information company Markit rose 0.1 percentage point in October to 52.1, the index still points to very modest growth. Anything above 50 indicates expansion.

For Chris Williamson, Markit's chief economist, this is consistent with an economy that is "limping along and more likely to take a turn for the worse."

Separately Wednesday, the European Union's statistics agency, Eurostat, found eurozone retail sales slumped 1.3 percent in September, against market expectations for a 0.7 percent fall.

The figures are not expected to prompt the European Central Bank to enact a further stimulus at Thursday's policy meeting.