Eurozone manufacturing activity declined for a fourth straight month in December, according to to the latest Reuters Eurozone PMI report from NTC Research.

The report’s Purchasing Managers Indices provide an overview of manufacturing conditions in the Eurozone – eight of the major European economies (Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands and Spain) within the twelve-nation euro currency zone.

The December data reveals a decline of 1.1 points to 48.4, below the 50 watershed that separates expansion from contraction. Adding to the tale of woe, the Eurozone New Orders Index, a leading indicator of activity, swung to slight contraction from November's marginal expansion, falling 1.9 points to 49.1.

The deceleration last month of the Eurozone's two largest economies does nothing to enhance confidence that better times are just around the corner: the German PMI declined 2.1 points to a three-month low of 46.9, while that of France edged down 0.9 point to 48.7.

Commented Gerard Perrier, head of the electronics division at CDAF, a French group representing 3,200 purchasing managers: “What's clear is that Europe always, always, always recovers after the US.”

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff