LONDON (Reuters) – Euro zone business activity contracted sharply this month as renewed lockdowns forced many firms in the bloc’s dominant service industry to close temporarily, although news of possible vaccines boosted hopes for 2021, surveys showed on Monday.
The bloc’s economy is on track for its first double-dip recession in nearly a decade as a second wave of the coronavirus sweeps across Europe, a Reuters poll suggested last week. But on Monday, Britain’s AstraZeneca said its vaccine could be around 90% effective without any serious side effects.
Pfizer and Moderna have also developed apparently effective vaccines and Monday’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) showed optimism about the year ahead improving to its highest since before the pandemic hit the continent.
Still, IHS Markit’s headline flash composite PMI, seen as a good guide to economic health, fell to 45.1 in November from October’s 50.0 – the level separating growth from contraction.