Eurozone output wobbles but Irish services at best since 2006

THE EUROZONE’S economic recovery lost a little momentum last month, according to surveys that showed only modest growth in German and French businesses.

Purchasing managers' indexes (PMIs) from Markit pointed to fragile economic growth that will do little to ease the pressure on the European Central Bank to take some action, although not perhaps at its policy meeting today, analysts said.

Ireland’s services PMI was one of the few unambiguously positive surveys from yesterday’s Eurozone batch, Markit said, showing the strongest growth since 2006.

German industrial orders rose at a far faster pace than expected in September, but Eurozone retail sales slipped more than predicted during the same month.

Markit’s October Eurozone Composite Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) of activity in both the services and manufacturing sectors slipped to 51.9 in October from 52.2 in September. That marked an improvement on an initial estimate two weeks ago of 51.5, however.

The PMI for the services sector, covering thousands of firms across the currency bloc from major banks to hairdressers, slipped to 51.6 from September's 52.2. Again, that was higher than the preliminary reading of 50.9.

Readings above 50 indicate expansion in activity.

While the modest pace of growth in activity at German and French companies was unchanged last month, it dwindled at Italian services firms and activity declined again in Spain.