Brussels, Belgium (4E) – Business activity in the euro area rose to its fastest rate in over two years in September as Italy and France also saw growth, which in the past was mostly limited to Germany.
The Markit euro zone PMI composite output index, a gauge of activity in the services and manufacturing sectors, increased to a 27-month high reading of 52.2 in September. The figure is above the 51.5 level in August and was a slight upward revision from last week’s preliminary estimate of 52.1.
Markit’s report also showed that the rate of growth in new orders grew the fastest last month since June 2011.
Combined with the PMI performance of July and August, the third quarter appears to have the strongest business activity in more than two years.
Germany saw the fastest growth among the major euro zone economies, although its September expansion eased from the previous month. Italy posted its fastest growth in more than two years, and France in more than a year.
The increase in Germany’s services sector activity in September resulted to the fastest job creation rate in more than a year, according to Markit. But weaker manufacturing output lowered the nation’s overall activity to 53.2 in September, compared with 53.5 in August.
Markit surveyed 2,000 companies in Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Ireland — economies that contribute around 80 percent of total output in the euro zone private sector services.