Financial market turbulence has knocked eurozone economic growth prospects more than previously thought, according to a survey that could increase pressure on the European Central Bank to open the way for interest rate cuts. Financial Times

Purchasing managers’ indices for the 15-country region were revised significantly downwards, based on survey data collected after share prices tumbled in late January. They suggested the eurozone economy grew in January at the weakest rate since November 2004. The impact was concentrated in the service sector; manufacturing picked up growth.

The gloomier economic outlook has encouraged speculation that Jean-Claude Trichet, ECB president, could move closer to admitting the possibility of interest rate cuts later this year.