Jan.02 - Orders were still down at the end of 2012, keeping PMI figures below the crucial point that marks growth, but Italy's manufacturing hit a nine-month high, and Ireland showed signs of growth. Joanne Nicholson reports
TV AND WEB RESTRICTIONS~****~ The numbers point towards a deeper recession. Factories in the euro zone didn't get the orders they'd hoped for. In December manufacturing on the purchasing Managers' Index dropped point 1 from 46.2. It's been below the golden 50 mark that divides growth from contraction since August 2011. Germany's manufacturing sector shrank for a 10th month, while in France the decline continued for a 17th month. Only Italy offered a glimmer of hope. Its manufacturing hit a nine month high, although still below that 50 mark. Christian Schulz is an economist at Berenberg Bank SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) CHRISTIAN SCHULZ, SENIOR ECONOMIST, BERENBERG BANK, SAYING: "Italy is clearly not out of a recession yet but talking about fiscal cliffs and fiscal austerity, the Monti government over the last year has imposed enough austerity and made enough fiscal adjustments for Italy not to need more austerity in 2013 and that should help the economy to turn around and grow again." Ireland was the only country to see growth in manufacturing but the US fiscal cliff drama makes any positive results precarious. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) CHRISTIAN SCHULZ, SENIOR ECONOMIST, BERENBERG BANK, SAYING: "The most exposed countries to the US are Ireland by far, and then the UK. The other big European exporters usually export about 6 percent of their goods exports to the other side of the atlantic so they are also going to have a positive impact and we have to keep in mind that the US is not just directly important but also China exports a lot to the US and imports a lot from countries such as Germany." And while the US economy looks to slow in 2013, it will still outperform Europe.