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Euro-zone manufacturing shrinks for 16th month ** *PIC*

Euro-zone manufacturing shrinks for 16th month (by William L. Watts)

FRANKFURT (MarketWatch) -- Manufacturing activity across the 17-nation euro zone contracted for a sixteenth consecutive month in November, according to the final reading of the Markit purchasing managers' index, or PMI, for the sector released Monday. Manufacturing PMI came in at 46.2, matching a preliminary estimate, and marking the sixteenth consecutive month the index has posted a reading below the 50.0 level, signaling a contraction in activity. The index rose from 45.4 in October, marking the slowest pace of contractin in eight months, but the downturn "clearly remains severe," said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit. "The ongoing steep pace of manufacturing decline suggests that the region's recession will have deepened in the final quarter of the year, extending into a third successive quarter," Williamson said.