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Monday’s purchasing managers indexes (PMIs) provided further evidence that Europe is unlikely to avoid a recession.

The rate of decline of activity in euro zone factories eased slightly to raise hopes the downturn will not be as severe as feared, though hiccups in the Spanish and Czech deficit reduction programmes emphasised the extent of the continent’s debt troubles.

With Asian PMIs showing a clear lack of momentum in the vast industrial economies of China and South Korea, the United States seems to be one of the few major economies showing signs of an upturn, even if modest and uncertain.

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