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Business

Eurozone recovery gathers steam in September

Business activity in the eurozone has picked up in September as the 17 members are climbing out of months of recession. An index surveying eurozone purchasing managers has climbed to a 27-month high.

The Composite Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for the eurozone jumped to 52.1 points in September, up from August's reading of 51.5 percent, Britain's market research group Markit Economics announced on Monday.

While hitting its highest level in 27 months, the closely watched indicator climbed further beyond the 50-point threshold that separates economic expansion from contraction.

It was particularly encouraging to see the business situation improving across the region, said Markit Chief Economist Chris Williamson.

"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 added.

In the second quarter of 2013, the 17-nation eurozone grew by 0.3 percent compared with the first quarter, ending 18 months of recession - the longest since the launch of the currency in 1999.

The PMI rise in September seems to confirm a recovery for the single-currency union. However, the upswing had not yet trickled through to the eurozone labor market, where employment continued to fall, but on a slower pace, Markit reported.

uhe/mkg (AFP, AP)