A new survey concludes the private sector in the eurozone contracted sharply in April and by more than initially thought.
The Markit eurozone composite purchasing managers' index fell to 46.7 in April from 49.2 in March. Any figure below 50 suggests contraction.
It was the sharpest fall since October and one of the steepest contractions in almost three years.
Markit says Italy experienced a three-year low in the output from the manufacturing and services sectors, while Germany slipped "towards stagnation".
New business contracted for the ninth consecutive month, while employment fell for fourth month in a row.