The overall eurozone PMI fell to 50.7 from 51.8 in July, closer to the 50-point of stagnation. The number of people employed across the manufacturing sector fell, although the picture provided by Markit Eurozone Manufacturing PMI final data was mixed.
National PMI data signalled a broad easing in the manufacturing recoveries underway across much of the currency union. Although Ireland was a noticeable exception, with its PMI at the highest level since the end of 1999, rates of expansion slowed in Spain, the Netherlands and Germany. The Greek PMI edged back above the 50.0 mark in August, while the rate of growth in Austria held steady.
France was the only nation to report an outright decline in new export orders in August, while rates of increase eased in Germany and Italy. Ireland, Spain and Austria reported stronger inflows of new export business.
The rate of expansion in new work received also slowed to the weakest in the current 14-month period of growth. Economic and geopolitical uncertainties were the main factors underlying slower demand growth. Inflows of new export business posted the slowest rise since July 2013.
Rob Dobson, senior economist at Markit, said: “Although some growth is better than no growth at all, the braking effect of rising economic and geopolitical uncertainties on manufacturers is becoming more visible. This is also the case on the demand front, with growth of new orders and new export business both slowing in August.
“The slowdown in industry is likely to add further fuel to the fire for analysts expecting additional monetary or fiscal stimulus to be implemented. Eyes will now turn to the services PMI numbers on Wednesday for further clues on underlying growth momentum and whether policymakers can continue to wait for earlier measures to start to deliver.”