Manufacturing activity in the Eurozone reached its highest level for 26 months in August, raising hopes that economic recovery is under way for the bloc.
AAP reports that Markit Economics’ Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) compiled for the manufacturing sector increased to 51.4 points in August. This compares to the figure of 50.3 in July.
A reading above 50 correlates with expansion, while a reading under 50 correlates with a contraction.
The best performing economies were the Netherlands with a PMI of 53.5, Italy with 51.3, Austria with 52 and Ireland with 52. Germany, Europe's biggest economy, recorded a 25-month high PMI of 51.8 points.
On the negative side, France recorded a PMI of 49.7 points, which was unchanged from July.
At 48.7, Greece was the only other country in the Eurozone which recorded a PMI below 50 points. Even so, this figure represented a 44-month high for that troubled economy.
The eurozone recorded an unemployment rate of 12.1 per cent in July. This is a record high, though the jobless total showed a slight further improvement.