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Eurozone Private Sector Continues To Grow Moderately

The euro area private sector grew at a moderate pace in August, flash survey data from IHS Markit showed Thursday.

The composite output index rose unexpectedly to 51.8 in August from a 3-month low of 51.5 in July. Economists had forecast a score of 51.2. Nonetheless, the reading was one of the weakest in six years.

There was a wide divergence in performance between the manufacturing and service sectors. The services Purchasing Managers' Index improved to 53.4 from 53.2 a month ago, while the reading was expected to ease to 53.0.

The manufacturing sector remained in negative territory in August. The indicator came in at 47.0 versus 46.5 in July. The expected level was 46.2.

"While the rate of overall expansion ticked up, we're still looking at GDP only rising by between 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent, based on the PMI data for the third quarter so far," Andrew Harker, an associate director at IHS Markit said.

While output growth in Germany picked up slightly in August, there were worrying signs on the new order front. The composite PMI advanced to 51.4 in August from 50.9 in July.

France fared better in comparison, seeing solid expansions in both output and new orders. The composite output index came in at 52.7 versus 51.9 in July.

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