The latest survey result from IHS Markit revealed the eurozone manufacturing index slumped to 49.3 from 50.5 registered in January - below the 50 line that divides expansion and contraction. Two European powerhouses currently experiencing deep financial crises, Germany and Italy, were the main drivers in dragging down the overall reading. Germany’s PMI score fell to 47.6 points last month from 49.7 in January - the worst barometer value in more than six years.
Italy, which tumbled into recession at the start of this year, saw its reading edge down marginally to 47.7 points from 47.8.
Spain’s rating plummeted to five-year low of 49.9, with the Netherland’s barometer score falling to 52.7 - the worst in nearly three years.
In the UK, the PMI score fell to a four-month low of 52 points in February, down from 52.6 in January.
Growth improved slightly in France, albeit only marginally, from 51.2 in January to 51.5 last month.
Eurozone news: Plunging manufacturing activity is sending shockwaves throughout Europe (Image: GETTY)
Euro area manufacturing is in its deepest downturn for almost six years, with forward-looking indicators suggesting risks are tilted further to the downside as we move into spring
IHS Markit chief economist Chris Williamson warned a gloomy outlook for the global economy and fears around impacts from Brexit are continuing to hit business output and confidence.
He said: “Euro area manufacturing is in its deepest downturn for almost six years, with forward-looking indicators suggesting risks are tilted further to the downside as we move into spring.
“Most worrying is the downward trend in new orders. Orders are falling at a faster rate than output to a degree not seen for seven years, meaning production is likely to be pared back further in coming months unless demand revives.
“The new orders to inventory ratio has also fallen to its lowest since 2012, with many companies reporting excess warehouse stocks.
Eurozone news: The manufacturingPMI has fallen steadily over the past year (Image: IHS