File: The Eurozone economy slipped closer to stall speed in January.
BRUSSELS - Eurozone business growth is at its lowest level in five-and-a-half years, according to the initial reading of a survey by data firm IHS Markit.
The firm's composite eurozone PMI fell to 50.7 points in January -- a 54-month low -- from 51.1 points in December, according to the survey published Thursday.
A reading above 50 points indicates an expansion, and the trend appears to be heading towards stagnation.
"The disappointing survey data indicate that GDP is rising at a quarterly rate of just 0.1 percent," said Chris Williamson, an IHS Markit economist.
"The Eurozone economy slipped closer to stall speed in January, with companies reporting the first drop in demand for over four years," he added.
Williamson cited the "yellow vest" protests in France as a drag on the euro area, but noted: "German businesses are also reporting their toughest spell for four years."