Euro zone manufacturing growth flimsy, Ireland shines

Euro zone manufacturing activity expanded slightly slower than initially thought in October, as weak demand continued to restrict growth of both output and employment.

Markit's final euro zone Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for October came in at 50.6, just below initial estimates of 50.7, but above September's 50.3 reading.

Read MoreEuro zone inflation picks up but worries remain

JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER | AFP | Getty Images

Four nations signaled expansion during October, with the Irish PMI remaining far out in front and ticking higher following a slight easing in September.

The data come after figures released on Friday showed euro zone inflation ticked up in October, bringing some much-needed relief for the European Central Bank (ECB), although the rate remained well below its target of around 2 percent.

Consumer prices rose by 0.4 percent year-on-year in October, according to official statistics published by Eurostat on Friday.

However jobless data, also published Friday, provided little cause for celebration, with the euro zone's unemployment rate holding steady in September, at 11.5 percent.

The ECB will announce its latest monetary policy decision onThursday, and most economists are not expecting any change to interest rates,or new policy announcements.

Separate figures showed manufacturing activity in the U.K. was unexpectedly strong in October. Markit's PMI for manufacturing came in at 53.2, against forecasts of 51.2. Sterling rose against the dollar following the news. A reading above 50 marks expansion.

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