Europe’s economy slowed in September as supply chain bottlenecks and worries over the Delta variant weighed on businesses across the continent, adding to signs the global economy is experiencing a soft patch amid an uneven recovery.
A gauge of business activity in the 19-nation eurozone recorded sharply slower growth in September in both manufacturing and services, extending a slowdown that began in August after activity in July hit a 21-year high, when widening vaccination campaigns allowed public health restrictions to be rolled back and economies to rev up.
Forecasting firm IHS Markit said its index of eurozone activity, drawn from surveys of purchasing managers, fell to a five-month low of 56.1 in September from 59 in August. The fall was steeper than predicted. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had expected a reading of 58.5. A reading over 50 indicates activity is expanding.