Euro zone companies did much worse than this month was expected, with factory operations turning at the fastest speed in nearly six years, catching a steep fall in demand, a released study revealed t on Friday.
While there was a steady but relatively low growth in the euro area services sector due to the decline in the manufacturing sector, surveys show that the euro area economy is performing well in the first quarter.
The first reading of the Purchasing Management Register, which is a good measure of economic strength, fell to 51.3 per month from a final reading of 51.9 in February, under what was expected in Reuters election of 52.0.
The PMI PMI photograph fell to 47.6 in March from reading 49.3 in February, the lowest level from April 2013 and lower than the level of 50 between growth and breakdown.
Reuters is expected to have risen to 49.5, and even the most lively economies were expected to index 48.4.
An output was calculated, feeding into the aggregate directors' index, at a rate of six years of 47.7 from 49.4.
As a result of the difficulties facing factories, the new order fell to 44.5 from 46.3, a level which had not been recorded since the end of 2012.
The growth of the services sector returned in line with the Reuters findings, and PMI fell to 52.7 from 52.8.