Businesses across the euro zone suffered their worst month since the bloc emerged from the last recession in October, forcing them to slash their workforces to reduce costs and cut prices to drum up business, surveys showed on Wednesday.
HOWARD ARCHER, ECONOMIST, IHS GLOBAL INSIGHT
"The euro zone downturn is, if anything, deepening rather than easing. Consequently, it already looks highly likely that the euro zone is headed for further economic contraction in the fourth quarter after GDP highly likely fell for a second successive quarter in the third quarter (we estimate a drop of 0.2-0.3 percent quarter-on-quarter)."
"The weakness in activity in October appears to have been widespread."
MARTIN VAN VLIET, SENIOR ECONOMIST, ING
"October's decline in the euro zone composite PMI is an unpleasant surprise and reinforces concern that the economic downturn in the region may be deepening and widening.
"All in all, today's PMI figures indicate that the euro zone economy remains firmly stuck in recession. As such, they raise further question marks over the effectiveness of the European policy of fiscal-frontloading.
"Looking ahead, we still think that the improved sentiment on financial markets in the wake of the latest central banks actions will bring some respite to the euro zone economy.
"But with the fiscal squeeze across the region intensifying, any return to positive growth next year will likely be slow and gradual - and remains contingent on further progress towards resolving the debt crisis."
BEN MAY, EUROPEAN ECONOMIST, CAPITAL ECONOMICS
"October's euro zone PMI and German Ifo surveys continue to paint a pretty dismal picture of growth prospects in the region as a whole and confirm that Germany is also suffering.
"On past form, the (euro zone composite PMI) points to quarterly falls in euro zone GDP of around 0.4 percent, a little larger than Q2's 0.2 percent decline.
"While recent actions by euro zone policymakers may have calmed the markets, the euro zone's economic problems remain firmly in place."
PETER DIXON, COMMERZBANK
"It was marginally disappointing."
"Germany was below expectations so any hopes of a rebound appear to have been dashed for now."
"The economy still app pears to be in slowdown mode, manufacturing doesn't look very pretty and services not much better"
"The overall assessment has to be this is an economy which is struggling and it confirms our view that the last few months of the year are going to show some further weak growth."
"Germany is heavily dependent on exports so a global slowdown is going to impact on Europe's growth motor."
VIEWS FROM SURVEY COMPILERS
CHRIS WILLIAMSON, CHIEF ECONOMIST, DATA COMPILER MARKIT
"The euro zone has slid further into decline at the start of the fourth quarter. The survey is running at a level which is historically consistent with the region's economy contracting at a quarterly rate of over 0.5 percent.
"Official data have shown surprising resilience over the summer compared to the survey data, but the underlying business climate has clearly deteriorated markedly in recent months.
"While GDP may decline only modestly in the third quarter, a steeper fall looks to be on the cards for the fourth quarter."