RTTNews - The decline in Eurozone private sector activities slowed further in May, indicating that the worst of the recession may be over, reports said Thursday, citing data released by the Markit Economics.

The Markit flash Eurozone composite output index rose to an eight month high of 43.9 in May from 41.1 in April, beating the forecast of 42.

Meanwhile, the flash services purchasing managers' index, or PMI, climbed to 44.7 from 43.8, above the expected figure of 44.5. Further, the manufacturing PMI increased to 40.5 from 36.7 in April, while economists had expected an increase to 38.3.

A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion in respective sectors. The survey covers everything from banks to hotels.

Last week, data released by the Eurostat had showed that the 16-nation economy contracted 2.5% sequentially in the first quarter following another fall of 1.6% in the fourth quarter of the previous year.

The flash manufacturing PMI for Germany rose to 39.1 in May from 35.4 from April, far outstripping the consensus of 37. Similarly, the services PMI accelerated to 46 from 43.8, exceeding the 44.2 expected.

French services PMI was up to reach 47.6 in May from 46.5 in April, while the forecast was 46.8. The gauge for manufacturing sector also rose to an above expected level of 43.1 from 40.1.

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