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Euro zone businesses grew in July
05 Aug 2015 09:09
Euro zone business growth accelerated at the end of last month as companies largely put the Greek debt crisis behind them, suggesting the bloc's economic recovery is on track, a survey has shown.
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Greece's flirtation with bankruptcy had threatened to wreck the currency union, but Athens agreed a framework bailout plan with its European Union partners in mid-July in exchange for reforms and budget austerity.
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With conditions and sentiment improving in the bloc after the deal, Markit's July final Composite Purchasing Managers' Index beat an earlier estimate of 53.7, settling at 53.9.
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That was shy of June's four-year high of 54.2, but the index has now been above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction since mid-2013.
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The composite PMI pointed to third-quarter expansion of 0.4%, Markit said, in line with the expectations for the previous three months but less than the 0.5% median forecast in a Reuters poll taken two weeks ago.
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"The euro zone economy showed reassuring resilience in the face of the Greek debt crisis in July," said Chris Williamson, Markit's chief economist.
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"With survey results like these, the European Central Bank will no doubt see the euro zone recovery as remaining firmly 'on track', supporting the view that the region looks set to grow by at least 1.5% in 2015."
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