Europe

Eurozone growth in 'low gear' at start of Q2

Tulips stand in front of the headquarters of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany, Monday, May 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

Tulips stand in front of the headquarters of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany, Monday, May 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)  (The Associated Press)

A closely monitored survey is pointing to waning growth in the 19-country eurozone at the start of the second quarter of the year.

Financial information company Markit says Wednesday that its purchasing managers index — a broad gauge of business activity — across the region fell modestly to 53 in April from 53.1 the previous month.

Though above the 50 threshold indicating expansion, the reading has fallen from the start of the year. The eurozone is in a "low gear," Markit says.

Official European Union figures last week showed the eurozone expanded by a quarterly rate of 0.6 percent in the first three months of the year.

Markit says its survey points to annual growth of 1.5 percent, lower than the 2.5 percent tick the official figures showed.