Manufacturing output in the euro zone fell back in August, failing to meet market expectations, as economic and geopolitical uncertainties hit demand in the region.
Euro zone manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell to 50.7 in August, down from 51.8 in July, according to data from analysis firm Markit. The 50-point mark separates expansion from contraction. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a figure of 50.8.
Rob Dobson, Markit's senior economist, said recovery in manufacturing production had slowed for the fourth straight month and hit a 13-month low.
"Although some growth is better than no growth at all, the braking effect of rising economic and geopolitical uncertainties on manufacturers is becoming more visible. This is also the case on the demand front, with growth of new orders and new export business both slowing in August," he said in a statement.
Markit noted that the figures signaled a broad easing in the manufacturing recoveries across much of the currency union, at a time when some economists expect the European Central Bank to announce additional stimulus measures to boost consumer demand. Ireland was a noticeable exception, Markit said in a press release, with its figure reaching its highest level since the end of 1999.