Eurozone business activity slows in September: data

A reading above 50 shows an expansion in employment from the previous month, while one below 50 denotes contraction. Companies lowered their selling prices amid attempts to boost customer interest.

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According to Investec’s Services Purchasing Managers’ Index, a reading of 62.4 was recorded in September, compared to 62.1 in August, with the sector consistently recording growth for over three years.

The data point to modest third-quarter growth of 0.4 per cent, survey compiler Markit said, and are likely to largely disappoint policymakers, six months into the ECB’s €60 billion a month quantitative easing programme.

The increase in business activity was underpinned by growth in new orders, with the pace of expansion in new work accelerating slightly since August. Average service sector charges in the euro area rose marginally in September, ending an unbroken sequence of decline that started in late-2011. The country’s GDP expanded 7 percent year on year in the first half, in line with the official growth target but still the lowest reading since the second quarter of 2009.

“The headline PMI signalled the strongest improvement in Singapore private sector operating conditions for seven months in September, with companies reporting a further solid increase in output as they geared up for new projects and promotions”, noted Ms Annabel Fiddes, an economist at Markit.

“There are also signs that consumers have become more cautious and are pulling back on their leisure spending, such as on restaurants and hotels”. Wider business service sector confidence has meanwhile also been knocked by global economic worries and financial market jitters.

Eurozone economic activity slowed more than first thought in September, a key business survey showed on Monday, adding to concerns over the outlook.

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The Caixin China Report on General Manufacturing is based on about 90 percent of responses to surveys sent to more than 420 manufacturers.

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