The final figure of euro zone manufacturing PMI for August showed a slight downward revision compared with the first estimate. The headline figure was downwardly revised from 45.3 to 45.1, but still up from a reading of 44.0 in July. Looking at the national data, both the German (44.7 from 45.1) and French (46.0 from 46.2) reading were downwardly revised, although they are still significantly up compared with the previous month.
The downturn eased in Spain (44.0 from 42.8), the Netherlands (49.7 from 48.9) and Greece (42.1 from 41.9), but accelerated in Italy (43.6 from 44.3) and Austria. Rates of contraction in output and new orders slowed from the previous month, while incoming new export orders declined at the steepest rate since November 2011. The euro zone manufacturing sector remains in steep contraction, but the downturn may start to ease somewhat, although this is not yet confirmed by other business confidence indicators. The main factor of weakness is the domestic market and intra-EMU trade, Markit, who is responsible for the data, added.