Survey finds eurozone recorded its softest quarter in Q4 since the middle of 2013

Economic Indicators Associated Press

A closely monitored survey shows the eurozone economy ended 2014 on a tepid note, raising concerns that the region may slip back into recession this year.

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Financial information company Markit said Tuesday its purchasing managers index, a broad gauge of business activity, rose to 51.4 in December from 51.1 the previous month, but it notes that the rate of expansion during the fourth quarter overall was the weakest since the third quarter of 2013.

Anything above 50 indicates expansion.

Markit's chief economist Chris Williamson says the eurozone, which now numbers 19 following Lithuania's adoption of the euro at the start of January, will look back at the year as one where it avoided recession by "the narrowest of margins." A renewed downturn is possible this year, he adds.