|Composite - Level||54.1||54.3||53.9|
|Services - Level||54.3||54.4||54.0|
The final composite output index for August weighed in at 54.3, a couple of ticks stronger than its flash estimate and 0.4 points above its final July mark.
The flash services PMI was nudged just 0.1 points higher but, at 54.4, now matches June's 4-year high. Increased output was supported by rising new orders and a sizeable increase in backlogs which, in turn, helped to ensure that employment growth remained respectably buoyant. Firms also became more optimistic about the economic outlook and business expectations for the year ahead climbed higher following July's 7-month low. Meantime, inflation developments were mixed. Hence, although higher wages and salaries prompted another rise in input costs, margins were squeezed further as service provider charges declined for a remarkable forty-fifth consecutive month.
Regionally, the best performer in terms of the composite output measure was Ireland (59.7) ahead of Spain (58.8) and Italy (55.0 and a 53-month high). Germany (55.0) also had a good month but France (50.2 and a 7-month low) all but stagnated and remains a real problem for Eurozone economic growth.
The final PMI figures suggest that the Eurozone economy is on course for something close to a 0.4 percent quarterly growth rate in the current period, a slight improvement on the second quarter's 0.3 percent rate. While this would be good news, faster rates of expansion will likely be needed if inflation is to meet the ECB's near-2 percent target over the central bank's 2-year policy horizon.
The Eurozone Composite PMI is produced by Markit and is based on original survey data collected from a representative panel of around 5,000 manufacturing and services firms. National manufacturing data are included for Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Austria, the Republic of Ireland and Greece. National services data are included for Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the Republic of Ireland.
The Eurozone Services PMI (Purchasing Managers' Index) is produced by Markit and is based on original survey data collected from a representative panel of around 2,000 private service sector firms. National data are included for Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the Republic of Ireland. These countries together account for an estimated 80% of Eurozone private sector services output.
Investors need to keep their fingers on the pulse of the economy because it dictates how various types of investments will perform. By tracking economic data such as the purchasing managers' manufacturing indexes, investors will know what the economic backdrop is for the various markets. The stock market likes to see healthy economic growth because that translates to higher corporate profits. The bond market prefers less rapid growth and is extremely sensitive to whether the economy is growing too quickly and causing potential inflationary pressures.
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