According to the advance estimate, which is based on about 85% of usual monthly replies, the euro zone composite PMI dropped to its lowest level since June 2009. The composite PMI dropped from 46.1 to 45.8, while the consensus was looking for an increase to 46.5. Weakness was based in the manufacturing sector as the manufacturing PMI fell from 46.1 to 45.3 in October, while the consensus was looking for a third consecutive month of improvement. National details show that the manufacturing PMI dropped in Germany (45.7 from 47.4) and improved slightly in France (43.5 from 42.7). Within the manufacturing sector, both new orders and employment fell at the steepest rate in three months. The euro zone services PMI picked marginally up in October, rising from 46.1 to 46.2, but a more significant improvement was forecast (to 46.4). Also the French services PMI rose, from 45.0 to 46.2, while German services PMI fell from 49.7 to 49.3. Outside France and Germany, a quite steep drop was seen in services sector confidence. The outlook remains worrying too as service providers were the gloomiest about their 12-monht outlook since February 2009. Overall, job losses eased slightly, but remained close to the 32-month low seen in September, while weak demand and intense competition caused charges for goods and services to continue fall at a marked rate. For now, hard data remained rather resilient in the third quarter, suggesting that GDP might have contracted only slightly. The outlook for the fourth quarter looks however poor as sentiment worsened further suggesting that the downturn is deepening, while most had expected a slight improvement in confidence.