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Eurozone business activity growth rises in August; trade woes weigh on sentiment

Growth in eurozone economic activity improved in August, though trade tensions continued to weigh on business sentiment, according to IHS Markit's final purchasing managers' index data.

The final PMI composite output index came in at 54.5 in August, up from a flash estimate of 54.4 and July's reading of 54.3. Business activity in the service and manufacturing sectors registered growth last month.

The services business activity index ticked up to 54.4 from 54.2, while the manufacturing PMI index slipped to 54.6 from 55.1. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

Meanwhile, business expectations regarding future activity fell to a 23-month low, reflecting uncertainties surrounding the ongoing global trade tensions.

"The survey data for the third quarter so far suggest the single currency area is on course to at least match the 0.4% expansion of GDP seen in the second quarter, yet the downturn in optimism raises questions over whether this pace of growth can be sustained into the fourth quarter," said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit.

In Germany, the final composite output index rose to a six-month high of 55.6 in August from 55.0 in July as the service sector-led growth. France's composite output index ticked up to 54.9 in August from 54.4 in July, reflecting faster expansion in services activity.

In Italy, the services business activity index dropped to 52.6 from 54.0, while business confidence was its lowest level in more than five years.