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Economic Report: European economy sees slight recovery from trade tensions in August, PMI data shows

August 22
15:52 2019

The European economy saw a slight recovery in August from weak demand caused by trade tensions, according to data released Thursday.

IHS Markit said the flash manufacturing purchasing managers index in the eurozone rose to a two-month high of 47 in August from 46.5, a figure still below the 50-level indicating worsening conditions.

Economists polled by FactSet had expected a 46.3 reading.

Meanwhile, the flash services purchasing managers index rose to a two-month high of 53.4 from 53.2, which was slightly ahead of the 53 economist forecast.

The flash readings are based on 85% to 90% of responses for a month and typically are close to the final reading due in two weeks.

The readings still weren’t particularly good. “It appears that companies are braced for a sustained period of weakness, and as a result are showing greater reluctance to take on additional staff,” said Andrew Harker, associate director at IHS Markit.

German firms were pessimistic about the prospects for business activity for the first time in almost five years, IHS Markit said.

The euro EURUSD, +0.0000%   was marginally higher at $ 1.1093 vs. $ 1.1086 on Wednesday, while the Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, -0.32%   stock market index was a bit weaker.

Steve Goldstein is MarketWatch markets editor for Europe. Follow him on Twitter: @MKTWgoldstein.

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