Eurozone Business Activity Strongest in 6 Years

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Eurozone businesses enjoyed their strongest quarter of movement since 2011 in the three months to June, in a further sign that economic growth has picked up the pace.

A study by IHS Markit showed private sector activity in the bloc’s production and services sectors remained strong in June as companies continued to hire at a fast pace to cope with rising backlogs of work.

Manufacturing employment increase was just shy of the two-decade high seen in May, according to IHS Markit, as the dominant services sector continued its best spell of job growth since early-2008.

“The strong jobs growth was also a reflection of ongoing elevated levels of optimism about future growth,” it said.

While IHS Markit eurozone purchasing managers’ index (PMI) edged down to 55.7 in June, from 56.8 in May, the result was still well above the 50 level that divides growth from contraction.

It also means the average PMI result for the second quarter of 56.4 was the highest since the first quarter of 2011.

It came as official data proved the French economy grew at a faster than expected pace of 0.5pc in the first three months of 2017, up from a previous estimate of 0.4pc.

It was the second upgrade for the eurozone’s second biggest economy in many months.