Page last updated at 12:38 GMT, Friday, 21 November 2008

Eurozone business activity falls

Euro symbol
Services and manufacturing in the eurozone have been hit by downturn

Business activity in the 15 countries sharing the euro has fallen in November to a ten-year low, the purchasing managers' index (PMI) has shown.

The index, compiled by research group Markit, dropped to 39.7, from 43.6 in October.

The figure was worse than analysts' forecasts, which put the level for November above the 42 mark.

According to Markit, manufacturing and services in the eurozone have contracted for six months in a row.

Markit said the deterioration in economic climate was felt by all sectors, with output, new orders, outstanding business and purchasing activity all falling to record lows.

The companies surveyed by Markit blamed the downturn on falling demand.

They also mentioned unfavourable exchange rates as a factor which was affecting exports to non-eurozone trading partners.

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