LONDON -- A closely-watched economic indicator is suggesting that the recession in the countries that use the euro is getting worse despite recent signs of improvement over Europe's debt crisis.
Financial information company Markit says Thursday its purchasing managers' index -- a gauge of business activity -- for the 17-country eurozone fell to 45.9 in September from 46.3 the previous month. The consensus in the markets was for a modest improvement.
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September's rate was the lowest in over three years.
Analysts say the survey suggests that the eurozone economy is contracting by more than the 0.2 percent quarterly rate in the second quarter of 2012.
Anything below 50 indicates a contraction in economic activity.