Eurozone economy 'losing steam' at start of year

A closely watched survey shows that the economy of the 19-country eurozone is losing a bit of steam.

Financial information company Markit says its purchasing managers' index — a broad gauge of activity across both the manufacturing and services sectors — fell to a four-month low of 53.6 points in January from 54.3 the previous month. Though the index remains above the 50 threshold that indicates expansion, Wednesday's survey found evidence of activity, order books and employment all losing momentum.

Markit's chief economist, Chris Williamson, also noted a bigger drag on prices despite the stimulus measures put in place by the European Central Bank over the past year.

Rates of growth also diverged, with Spain once again leading the pack, followed by Germany. France appears to be stagnating.