July 2 - While figures for exports stay at three year lows, employment figures cause concern as jobs are lost at the fastest rate since 2010. Joanne Nicholson reports.
It seems the euro zone can't get itself out of the manufacturing quagmire. The purchasing managers' index for June was 45.1 - the same as May and the lowest its been for three years. It's not just the worry of a downturn in southern Europe - Germany and France have succumbed too. And then there's the employment fIgures. Rob Dobson is from Markit Economics. SOUNDBITE (English) Rob Dobson, Economist, Markit Economics, saying: "The employment numbers - we're also starting to see them come down as well, including in Germany. Indeed, all countries within that survey reported a decline in employment apart from Ireland. so what we're seeing is weakness in the output coming through into the labour market which is going to be a bad thing for the economy heading forward." The rate of decline in Germany is the steepest since 2009. Only Greece reported a bigger drop in export orders. Ireland and Austria were the only countries to increase output and new business. With companies like French carmaker Renault last month announcing plans to cut jobs, the factory payrolls look unlikely to recover soon. And even though the factory output index rose just a tad to 44.7, it's still not great. There has, though, been a fall in oil prices, which has helped to keep inflation in check. Many economists now think the European Central Bank will cut rates on Thursday, and possibly introduce other emergency measures to soothe the markets. Joanne Nicholson, Reuters