Euro zone manufacturing and service industries shrank in April more than initially reported, according to a purchasing managers index released Friday by London-based Markit Group Ltd.
Business conditions deteriorated at a faster rate towards the end of the month, said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, explaining the Friday's downward revision of preliminary estimates released April 23.
The final figures for April show manufacturing at 46.7, down from 49.1 in March, and services at 46.9, down from 49.2 in March. Numbers below 50 indicate contraction. Businesses in France, Italy and Spain retreated while Germany was edging toward flat, according to the survey.
The euro continued its slide against the dollar Friday to $1.31 in morning trading. The currency has lost 1 percent value against the dollar since April 27.
The news comes a day after the European Central Bank met in Barcelona and maintained the benchmark interest rate at 1 percent.
ECB President Mario Draghi said he saw no contradiction between austerity measures and long-term growth, while governments in the eurozone have called for more stimuli to spur a rebound. The conflict between austerity hawks and stimulus-spending advocates could be exacerbated by election results in France and Greece this weekend.
The latest PMI data that suggests the euro zone might be headed to a third consecutive quarter of contraction. Draghi said it was premature to assume the bank was ending its current stimulus efforts even though it made no surprise announcement on Thursday.