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Eurozone Private Sector Expands Most In 7 Months

The euro area private sector expanded at the fastest pace in seven months in June, as growth in the service sector offset the fall in manufacturing, flash survey data from IHS Markit showed Friday.

The composite output index rose to a 7-month high of 52.1 in June from 51.8 a month ago. Economists had forecast the score to rise marginally to 52.0.

The reading puts growth in the second quarter up slightly on that seen in the first quarter, yet still the second-lowest since the fourth quarter of 2014.

Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit said the overall rate of expansion remains weak, with the survey data indicative of eurozone growth of just over 0.2 percent in the second quarter.

"Concerns about weaker economic growth at home and in export markets, rising geopolitical risks and trade wars continue to dominate the picture and dampen business spending, investment and sentiment," Williamson added.

Overall growth was driven by the service sector, which reported the sharpest rise in business activity since last November. On the other hand, manufacturing remained in contraction zone.

The services Purchasing Managers' Index climbed to 53.4 in June from 52.9 in the previous month. The score was also above the forecast of 53.0.

The manufacturing PMI came in at 47.8 in June versus 47.7 a month ago. The reading was expected to rise to 48.0.

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