Eurozone growth skidded to its slowest rate in more than two years in October, with the economy gripped by escalating US-China trade war fears and an ongoing spat between Italy and EU chiefs over Rome’s budget. The euro area felt the brunt of growing global tensions as momentum dropped and business growth decelerated faster than anticipated as the final quarter of 2018 began.

Germany and France led the decline, with Berlin rattled by a slowdown in manufacturing and services industry growth and Paris hit by a loss of confidence in its manufacturing sector.

According to a flash composite purchasing managers’ index (PMI) from IHS Markit, eurozone PMI slowed to 52.7, down from 54.1 in September and marking the slowest level of growth recorded in 25 months.

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