Eurozone downturn deepens, recession likely

STORY: Euro zone business activity contracted last month at the fastest pace since late 2020.

That's according to a closely-watched survey released Friday (November 4).

S&P Global's final composite Purchasing Managers' Index - or PMI - suggested the bloc was heading for a winter recession.

Consumers are dealing with a double hit of high inflation and an energy crisis.

Inflation in the 19 countries using the euro surged more than expected last month, hitting 10.7% - over five times more than the European Central Bank's target.

Now the ECB will likely move ahead with more rate hikes - adding to the challenges faced by consumers.

The PMI is seen as a good guide to economic health.

It fell to a 23-month low of 47.3 in October, from September's 48.1.

Anything below 50 indicates contraction.

The new business index fell to 45 - its lowest reading since November 2020, at the height of the health crisis.

The Euro zone's dominant services industry also dropped to a 20-month low.

High operating expenses due to energy, wages and transport costs pushed services firms to sharply raise charges.