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Eurozone business activity growth slows in July amid manufacturing woes

Business activity growth in the eurozone slowed in July amid a continued downturn in manufacturing, according to an IHS Markit survey.

The final composite purchasing managers' index came in at 51.5 in July, in line with the flash estimate and down from a 7-month high of 52.2 in June.

The services business activity index was at 53.2, down from the previous estimate of 53.3 and June's final reading of 53.6. Goods output fell at the sharpest pace since April 2013 to mark its sixth straight month of decline.

"The service sector continued to sustain the expansion of the overall eurozone economy at the start of the third quarter, but there are signs that the scale of the manufacturing downturn is starting to overwhelm," said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit.

In Germany, a deteriorating manufacturing economy almost entirely offset robust growth of the service sector, according to IHS Markit. Business activity in Germany's service sector grew at the slowest pace in six months in July as the relevant final index fell to 54.5 from June's nine-month high of 55.8.

While business sentiment remained positive, it was at its weakest level since December 2014 amid concerns about economic growth outlook and the car industry.

In Italy, the business activity services index improved to 51.7 from 50.5.

In France, growth in the service sector was little changed as the relevant index came in at 52.6 in July, compared with 52.9 in June.