World Economy

Eurozone’s Weakest Quarter

Eurozone’s Weakest QuarterEurozone’s Weakest Quarter

Prices for factory goods in the eurozone dropped the most since 2009 in March, in a sign that weak inflationary pressures may be cutting into companies’ ability to charge more even as manufacturing expands, Bloomberg reported. Markit Economics said its Purchasing Managers Index, which gauges manufacturing activity and comes alongside the price figures, increased to 51.6 from 51.2 in February. That keeps it just above the 50 level that separates expansion from contraction. While the reading is higher than the initial estimate of 51.4, it still caps the weakest quarter in a year. The reading on prices underlines the challenge facing the European Central Bank, which unveiled new stimulus measures this month in its latest attempt to reinvigorate inflation in the 19-country eurozone.