Euro Zone Business Growth Soared in May, Restrictions Eased


LONDON, June 3 Reuters Euro zone business activity surged in May as the easing of some coronavirus related restrictions injected life into the blocs dominant services industry, a survey showed, echoing data on Tuesday which showed factories had their best month on record.

An acceleration of vaccine programmes across the region and a fall in reported daily cases has allowed governments to remove some measures imposed to try and stop the spread of the virus.

That meant IHS Markits final composite Purchasing Managers Index PMI, seen as a good gauge of economic health, jumped to 57.1 last month from Aprils 53.8, its highest level since February 2018.

Mays final reading was ahead of a preliminary 56.9 indication and comfortably above the 50 mark separating growth from contraction.

An index covering the service industry soared to a near threeyear high of 55.2 from 50.5, just beating the 55.1 flash estimate.

The euro zones vast service sector sprang back into life in May, commencing a solid recovery that looks likely to be sustained throughout the summer, said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit.

Businesses reported the strongest surge in demand since the start of 2018 as COVID restrictions were eased and vaccine progress boosted confidence.

While the services new business index was the highest since early 2018 the overall composite new orders reading bounced to a near record 58.4 from 53.4 its highest since June 2006 as pentup demand was…


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