Euro-economies creaking to a halt
It's like a slow motion train wreck as European economies are showing stagnation and a slowing pace of growth.
There are fears that the projected 0.2% growth for the quarter will actually slide into negative territory, heightening fears of another recession.
Economists polled by Reuters last month predicted third- and fourth-quarter growth of 0.2 percent, but Markit said the result could be even weaker.
"A mild output contraction in September sits in stark contrast to the buoyant pace of expansion seen at the start of the year, suggesting that the economy will have stagnated in the third quarter as a whole," Markit's chief economist Chris Williamson said.
"Even more disappointing is the steep drop in new business, which suggests that (gross domestic product) will contract in the fourth quarter unless business and consumer confidence rally in coming weeks."
Ailing stock markets bounced Wednesday after Europe's finance ministers agreed to shore up euro zone banks against the spreading debt crisis, though contagion fears kept the euro close to a nine-month low against the dollar.
Britain's service sector unexpectedly picked up pace in September, though firms' expectations for the next 12 months are bleak, and Britain's economic growth in the second quarter of this year was unexpectedly revised down to 0.1 percent, official data showed Wednesday.
"It is pretty anemic growth. What is happening in Europe is not helping the UK at all, but even fundamentally the UK economy is in a pretty weak spot at the moment," said Marchel Alexandrovich at Jefferies International.
Even powerhouse Germany is "stuttering" according to the report. And French growth has hit a 26 month low. With the core of the euro zone faltering, it appears that the EU economies are grinding to a halt just at the time that the Greek crisis is upon them.