Euro zone manufacturing businesses clocked their best month of growth in six-and-a-half years in August, offsetting the weakest services growth in seven months and keeping overall activity on steady path, a survey of private companies has revealed. Ciara Lee reports.
The wheels of fortune keep on turning for euro zone businesses. Manufacturing clocking its best month of growth for six and a half years in August. IHS Markit's Purchasing Managers index is considered a good guide to growth. Anything above 50 is expansionary - August's figure hit 55.8. Euro zone manufacturing PMI rose to 57.4 from 56.6 (SOUNDBITE) (English) CRAIG ERLAM, SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, OANDA, SAYING: "I think it's nice to be optimistic for once on the euro area and the numbers we've seen over the past 12 to 18 months have certainly been cause for more optimism. There is a number of things that could get in the way, I think they've benefited greatly from low oil prices for example. I think they've benefited greatly from a weaker euro. Mario draghi himself in the ECB has talked about the impact that higher euro could have on the economy and in particular areas such as exports which has helped to drive the improved." Euro zone services activity though dipped to a seven month low. But the factory expansion more than offset that, particularly in Germany where manufacturing and services sectors account for more than two thirds of the economy. Europe's biggest economy is expected to continue its robust upswing in the third quarter, its PMI of 55.7 beat analyst expectations .