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Eurozone business activity 'gathers pace' in September

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Eurozone business activity continued to pick up in September, hitting a 27-month high as the economy climbed out of a record recession, a closely watched survey showed Monday.

The Composite Purchasing Managers' Index compiled by Markit Economics jumped to 52.1 points for September from 51.5 in August, pushing further beyond the 50-points boom-or-bust line.

The rise confirms a recovery for the embattled single currency bloc, which finally exited 18 months of recession in the second quarter this year.

The emergence from recession is again being led by Germany, where better days helped propel Chancellor Angela Merkel to a resounding electoral victory on Sunday, though other countries are beginning to lift out of the doldrums as well.

"It is particularly encouraging to see the business situation improved across the region," said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.

"Although the upturn continued to be led by Germany, France saw the first increase in business since early-2012 and elsewhere growth was the strongest since early-2011," he said.

Markit also said the employment picture, though still poor, was improving in the eurozone, a key point of concern with record joblessness well anchored in several countries.

"Employment continued to fall, though it is reassuring that the rate of job losses eased to only a very modest pace, suggesting that employment could start rising again soon," Williamson said.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130923/eurozone-business-activity-gathers-pace-september