Eurozone manufacturing activity contracted for a 17th month running in December, a key survey of business managers showed on Wednesday.
The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector, a leading indicator compiled by the Markit research firm, came in at 46.1 points in November, down from an earlier estimate of 46.3 points and down from November's 46.2 points.
Any score below 50 points indicates contraction, not growth.
Ireland, as has frequently been the case in recent months, posted a score of 51.4 points, indicating growth.
But Germany (46.0 points), France (44.6) and Italy (46.7) were all signalling contraction.
While manufacturing activity "may have suffered its worst contraction around October," said London-based IHS Global Insight analyst, "the December purchasing managers' surveys indicate that the sector is still stranded well into recessionary territory."