Eurozone business activity strengthens in August: survey

21st August 2015, Comments 0 comments

Eurozone business activity rose in August, a closely watched survey said Friday, on the back of solid growth in Germany and despite sluggishness in France.

The Markit Economics Composite Purchasing Managers Output Index (PMI) came in at 54.1 points in August, up from 53.9 in July, confirming that problems in crisis-hit Greece were not affecting the rest of the eurozone.

Any reading above the boom-or-bust line of 50 points shows the economy expanding, and the Markit index has now done that for 14 consecutive months.

The 19-nation eurozone has been recovering steadily but modestly for the past 18 months as fears Greece could default on its debt and crash out of the bloc have dampened business confidence.

"The flash PMI suggests that the eurozone is still experiencing one of its best periods of economic growth and job creation during the past four years," said Rob Dobson, Senior Economist at Markit.

He said job creation was "particularly pleasing," especially in countries "still struggling with double-digit rates of unemployment" such as Spain and Portugal.

"On that score, it was disappointing to see further job losses reported in France," he added, where Markit said the index reached 51.3 points, well below Germany's 54.0.

By component, Markit said the index for the services sector -- which accounts for about two-thirds of all economic activity -- rose to 54.3 points in August from 54.0 in July, while manufacturing was unchanged at 52.4 points.

© 2015 AFP

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