Eurozone recession could end this quarter

Eurozone recession could end this quarter.

Analysts are hopeful that the eurozone’s recession could end in the third quarter, after official data showed that the region’s businesses had returned to growth for the first time in 18 months.

The Markit eurozone Composite Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) recorded growth of 50.5 in July, up from an initial estimate of 50.4. Anything above the 50 mark signals growth. The sentiment survey of thousands of purchasing managers is widely seen as a reliable gauge of economic expansion.

The 17-nation bloc’s services sector rose to 49.8, up from an initial estimate of 49.6, while manufacturing surprised with a strong 50.3-point performance, pushing the combined measure into positive territory.

Job losses were the weakest in 16 months, as rates of decline eased in France, Italy and Spain, while Germany saw a modest return to job creation.

Rob Dobson, senior economist at Markit, said that the news confirmed a welcome return to growth for the eurozone economy at the start of the third quarter, raising hopes that the region could claw its way out of its longest-running recession.

For Europe, the strong figures offer a glimmer of hope that the six consecutive quarters of economic contraction may finally be ending.

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