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Mixed messages on EuroZone economy

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September PMI down slightly, but trend is encouraging.

According to economic data provider Markit, Europe’s economy I showing signs of life.

The firm’s flash PMI survey data pointed to steady growth of the eurozone economy at the end of the third quarter. Moreover, faster growth of new work and backlogs of orders point to continued expansion in coming months. Selling prices were meanwhile stable despite sharply reduced commodity prices.

France continued to lag the upturn, but saw growth pick up from the near-stagnation seen in August. Growth slowed in Germany and in the rest of the region.

The Markit Eurozone PMI slipped from 54.3 in August to 53.9 in September, according to the preliminary ‘flash’ reading. The latest index nevertheless remained broadly in line with recent readings seen over the past eight months, and pushed the third quarter average to the highest seen since the second quarter of 2011 (the average of 54.0 compares with 53.9 in the second quarter).

"The September PMI surveys indicate a further steady expansion of the eurozone economy."

Service sector growth outpaced that of manufacturing, albeit by only a small margin, for a tenth successive month despite the rate of expansion slipping back slightly to match that seen in July. Production growth likewise moderated in manufacturing, though remained above the average seen in the year to date.

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