The performance of the eurozone (EA19) manufacturing sector slipped slightly in August, according to a report by London-based global data company on Monday.
The Eurozone Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector stood at 54.6 in August, slightly down from July’s 55.1, said IHS Markit, while pointing to the slowest growth since November 2016.
The Netherlands, Ireland, and Austria were the strongest performing nations among the member countries, although the reading eased to a 20-month low in Austria.
The report said manufacturing output climbed in the month, with highest growth in three months. "Growth strengthened despite the level of new orders increasing at the slowest rate for two years," it added.
Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said although factories in the eurozone achieved a solid production gain in the month, the further prospects dimmed due to the two-year-low growth rate of new orders.
"The slowdown in demand compared to the surging pace of expansion seen earlier in the year is being driven primarily by export orders rising at the slowest rate for nearly two years," Williamson said.
Williamson also noted the business expectations slipped to the second-lowest since November 2015.
"Worries about trade wars and the damaging impact of tariffs, as well as Brexit and other political worries, all contributed to a dampening of business optimism about the year ahead," he said.
He added the reduction in job creation to the lowest for one and-a-half years was not surprising in such an environment.
The PMI for the manufacturing sector is seen as an important gauge in tracking the health of the sector, with values below 50 points showing contraction while above indicates expansion.
By Jeyhun Aliyev