Euro zone business growth eased in May and firms cut prices for the 26th straight month, a survey showed, likely underpinning expectations for the European Central Bank (ECB) to loosen policy today.
While output across the region
The euro fell to a three-month low against the dollar and a 17-month trough against the pound on Friday after a disappointing report on German business sentiment supported the view the European Central Bank will cut interest rates next month.
Ratings agencies gave a broadly upbeat assessment of the euro zone's creditworthiness yesterday, contrasting sharply with reviews of recent years and reflecting growing confidence in the region's fiscal and economic recovery.
Major economies in Asia and Europe finished the first quarter on a weaker note, with key manufacturing surveys fuelling expectations policymakers may be forced to act in coming months to prop up faltering growth.
US manufacturing growth was solid in the first quarter and a return to expansion in French business activity this month suggested a recovery was taking shape in the euro zone, though China's factory sector stuttered in the early part of 2014
Manufacturers across Europe and Asia changed down a gear last month as falling demand from abroad hurt Chinese output and European factory growth dipped from January's 2-1/2 year high.
But while the surveys across Asia were mo
Weakness in euro zone price pressures is extending into the medium-term, the time horizon the European Central Bank (ECB) looks at when deciding on policy, ECB policymaker Peter Praet said.
Praet, who holds the powerful economics
The global economy started 2014 on a disjointed note with the euro zone's private sector in better shape than expected and China's vast manufacturing industry contracting for the first time in six months.
Surveys on Thursd
Bankers in the European Union earning more than 500,000 euros ($688,000) a year may be excluded from a cap on their bonuses if they are not major risk takers, according to a revised rule from the EU's banking watchdog yesterday.
The European Central Bank's (ECB) chief economist said the euro zone faces deflationary pressures, and the bank's president stressed that interest rates must remain low "because the economy is weak".
With euro zo