Manufacturing activity across the 17-nation euro zone shrank at a faster pace than previously estimated in April, underlining fears of a deepening recession for the region, according to the final April Markit purchasing managers' index for the sector released Wednesday. The index fell to 45.9 from a reading of 47.7 in March and was below an earlier estimate of 46.0. A reading of less than 50 indicates a contraction in activity. National data showed accelerating downturns for Italy, Spain and Greece, while core countries also saw shrinking activity. Germany's manufacturing PMI fell to a 33-month low at 46.2. "Manufacturing in the euro zone took a further lurch deeper into a new recession in April, with the PMI suggesting that output fell at worryingly steep quarterly rate of over 2%," said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.
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