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Economy in Brief

Expansion in the Service Industries in Euro-Zone Slows
by Louise Curley April 5, 2004

Purchasing Managers in the service industry in the Euro Zone reported a slowing in activity in March. The index based on a survey of 2,000 purchasing managers at service companies operating in the Euro zone compiled for Reurters Group Plc by NTC Research Ltd. declined to 54.4,from February's 56.2.

For the Euro Zone as a whole, there was a substantial decline in business expectations, which dropped 5.3% from 69.79 in February to 66.07 in March, and in new businesses which dropped 3.4% from 55.47 to 53.58.

Among the individual countries, Spain and France showed the greatest slowdowns in overall activity. No doubt, the terrorist attack in Madrid was a major factor in the Spanish slowdown.

Purchasing Managers Index Percent
(>50 = expansion; <50 = contraction)
Mar 04 Feb 04 Mar 03 M/M
 %
Y/Y
%
2003 2002 2001
Euro Zone Total 54.40 56.22 47.73 -3.24 13.97 56.36 51.58 51.63
  Employment 49.26 48.17 46.05 2.26 6.97 46.91 49.35 52.48
  New Business 53.58 55.47 47.30 -3.41 13.28 50.85 51.24 50.11
  Business Expectations 66.07 69.79 59.63 -5.33 10.80 65.09 65.74 62.08
Germany 53.16 54.14 43.37 -1.81 22.74 48.49 48.62 48.87
France 55.86 58.58 50.90 -4.64 9.77 63.99 54.71 54.26
Italy 55.18 56.12 52.22 -1.67 5.67 53.34 52.97 53.91
Spain 53.90 59.09 49.10 -8.78 9.78 52.51 52.57 51.64
Ireland 55.84 56.96 50.32 -1.97 10.97 53.07 55.29 51.88
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