Eurozone firms point to growth in third quarter

BUSINESS activity in the Eurozone reached a 27-month peak in September, suggesting that the currency union’s lukewarm recovery has carried on into the third quarter.

Construction, manufacturing and services in the euro area have all expanded, according to Markit’s composite purchasing managers’ index (PMI), released yesterday. The headline figure for the PMI reached 52.2 last month, above 50, which signals growth.

Purchasing managers in most of Europe’s large economies, Germany, Italy and France, reported improving business conditions. Spain came in at 49.6, a narrow contraction.

Business expectations also surged, reaching the highest level since September 2010. Markit’s chief economist Chris Williamson commented: “With the rate of expansion picking up in September, the survey bodes well for ongoing growth in the final quarter of the year.”

The Eurozone also saw a rise in retail sales, which swung upwards by 0.7 per cent between July and August. In the three months to July, the region officially exited an 18-month long recession, with 0.3 per cent growth.