EU Biz Shows Little Brexit Concern 08/23 06:33
LONDON (AP) -- Business activity across the 19-country eurozone grew at a
steady but subdued pace in August as the region continued to show little
concern about the impact of a British exit from the European Union.
A gauge of activity in the services and manufacturing sectors in the
eurozone, the so-called purchasing managers' index, rose slightly to a
seven-month high of 53.3 points from 53.2 in July. The index published Tuesday
by IHS Markit is on a 100-point scale, with the 50 mark separating contraction
from growth in activity.
The result echoes the steady growth seen in July and confirms that
businesses in the eurozone aren't overly worried about Britain's decision to
leave the EU, the broader 27-country trading bloc that includes the eurozone.
Britain has yet to trigger the clause that will start negotiations on the
nation's exit terms. It could take months for the country to invoke that clause
and when it does, the actual departure will involve years of negotiations.
The overall figures in the survey suggest the eurozone economy grew at a
quarter-on-quarter rate of 0.3 percent in the third quarter, the authors said.
"The eurozone remains on a steady growth path in the third quarter, with no
signs of the recovery being derailed by 'Brexit' uncertainty," said Chris
Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit.
The details of the survey, which is based on the response of executives from
about 5,000 companies, nevertheless showed some weak spots. Expectations of
future growth weakened. And while services activity was at a three-month high,
manufacturing was at a three-month low due to a drop in new orders.