June euro-zone PMI stays at 35-month low (by Kim Hjelmgaard)
LONDON (MarketWatch) -- A closely watched gauge of June business activity in the euro zone remained near May's 35-month low, preliminary estimates from Markit Economics showed Thursday. The Markit euro-zone purchasing managers composite output index matched May's 46 reading, which means that the June contraction has remained at the steepest level since June 2009. Markit's flash reading of euro-zone manufacturing PMI, a measure of manufacturing activity in the 17-country single-currency area, declined to 44.8 in June, from 45.1 in May. Flash euro-zone manufacturing PMI output, meanwhile, hit a 37-month low for the period. Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said: "The flash PMI for June rounded off the weakest quarter for three years."