Service sector activity in euro zone recovered more than expected in October although the outlook darkened, according to a survey today.

The euro zone purchasing managers index (PMI) for the service sector, compiled by the research group NTC Economics, rose to 55.8 points in October from 54.2 in September, slightly above a provisional estimate of 55.6.

While the result remained well above the 50-point level indicating expansion, the survey also showed service-sector executives becoming increasingly pessimistic about the future.

The survey found business expectations to be hovering close to a four-and-a-half year low, with confidence particularly low in regional powerhouse Germany.