Purchasing managers across the euro zone on Tuesday indicated a further contraction in activity in September, adding to evidence that the 15-nation region may have already slipped into its first recession since the introduction of the single currency nearly a decade ago, economists said. The preliminary Markit euro-zone composite purchasing managers index fell to 47.0 in September from 48.2 in August. The figure marked the lowest reading since November 2001 and a sharper-than-expected contraction in activity. Consensus expectations were for a reading of 47.8. A figure below 50 shows that purchasing managers believe they saw a contraction in activity, while a figure of more than 50 signals growth. http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/euro-zone-pmi-data-heightens-recession/story.aspx?guid= Aug. 29 (Bloomberg) -- European Central Bank Executive Board member Lorenzo Bini Smaghi said inflation among the 15 countries sharing the euro is ``too high'' and must be brought below the bank's limit. ``Inflation is still high, too high,'' he said in an interview with Bloomberg Television yesterday in Cortina D'Ampezzo. ``We have a 2 percent target and we must bring it back to 2 percent -- below 2 percent.'' Bini Smaghi is the fourth policy maker this week to signal that the ECB hasn't moderated its resolve to fight inflation even as economic growth falters. Inflation in the euro area is running at twice the ECB's limit, driven by record oil and commodity prices. The Frankfurt-based bank raised its key rate to a seven-year high of 4.25 percent in July to prevent higher consumer prices from pushing up wages, entrenching inflation even further.