Eurozone boost as output hits a two-year peak

Julian Harris
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THE EUROZONE’S recovery finally appears to be on track according to data released yesterday, with business output growing in August at its fastest pace in over two years.

The news came as separate data from Brussels showed the single currency area escaping recession during the second quarter of the year, supporting earlier estimates.

The Eurostat office said its second estimate of GDP in the three months to the end of June shows 0.3 per cent growth, the same as its first reading.

And private sector figures from research company Markit showed the economies of troubled euro area states such as Italy and Spain moving from contraction to growth in August.

Markit’s latest purchasing managers’ index (PMI) moved up to a score of 51.5 last month across the Eurozone – up from 50.5 in July and the highest it has been since June 2011. Numbers above 50 indicate economic expansion.

Elsewhere in the world, figures from Markit showed a contrast in the giant Asian economies of China and India.

Businesses in China reported their best levels of output since March last month, the PMI score moving to 51.8 from 49.5. Yet the composite index in India worsened, slipping from 48.4 in July to 47.6 last month.

An HSBC PMI for emerging markets (known as the EMI) sunk to a post-crisis low a month ago. Yet HSBC’s latest report, published today, has EMIs recovering to 50.7 at the start of this month – up from 49.5 in August.