>> Record employment levels mean Germany's workers are clocking up the hours. But is Germany clocking up the sales? Private sector growth slowing to a 16 month low in September. Manufacturing accelerating but the services that make up more than two thirds of its economy near stagnant. Overall, Eurozone business activity expended at its weakest rate in nearly two years.
Jeremy Gaunt is Chief Desk Editor for Economics at Reuters.>> Well, they weren't terribly good in Germany. It should be seen that there was growth in both services and in manufacturing. It was just a bit slower. Where it comes in is Germany is dominant in Europe. I mean, it's by far the biggest economy.
And if Germany, the old saying, if Germany catches a cold, everybody else gets the flu. And that's basically what would happen. So a slowdown in Germany is worrying for the Eurozone as a whole, and probably the world economy to a certain extent.>> Unexpectedly, France showed its best performance in 15 months.
Even a separate data showed its economy shrink in the second quarter for the first time in nearly three years.>> They were quite surprising. France did really quite well this month, although manufacturing is still not in growth. It's still in recession. But it was much better than people thought it would be.
It's very unlikely that France could lift the whole of the Eurozone, obviously it makes up for some the slowdown in other places.>> The other PMI surprise came from Asia. Japan's manufacturing expanded for the first time in seven months. But for Europe, and critically its Central Bank, these figures may prompt a reckoning.
Negative rates and a massive program of quantitative easing doing little to revive growth, even less to spur inflation. And just today, the ECB warning that its rates were near as low as they can go.