Business activity in the Eurozone service sector expanded for the eleventh
successive month in June. The Eurozone Services Business Activity Index
dipped to a three-month low of 52.8,
from 53.2 in May, but nonetheless provided a solid end to the best quarter for
Markit said the outlook for the sector also remained
relatively bright, with the growth rate for
new orders accelerating to its highest since
May 2011 and business confidence hitting a three-month peak. A third
successive month of modest job creation
also suggested that services companies remained optimistic
regarding the coming months.
Business activity and new orders rose in Germany, Italy,
Spain and Ireland. Ireland
again recorded the steepest expansions, with the growth rates in output and new
orders at or close to seven-year peaks. This underpinned a stronger gain in
Germany was in second position in the output growth table, despite seeing
rates of expansion in activity and new business ease slightly from May’s highs.
German service providers also reported solid job creation. Spain
saw a modest increase in employment, despite
slower rates of increase for both demand and output.
The performance of the
Italian service sector continued to brighten
in June, with business activity and new orders rising at the sharpest rates
since November 2010 and July 2007 respectively. This failed to result in job
creation, however, with staffing levels broadly unchanged over the month.
France remained the main drag on the generally positive performance of
the Eurozone service sector, being the only one of the big-four nations to
record a contraction in either business activity or new orders. Employment fell
for the eighth successive month.
Input price pressures continued to increase at Eurozone service providers
in June, as costs rose at the fastest pace since November 2013. This mainly
reflected higher oil prices and staff costs. Strong competition prevented
companies from passing the increase on to clients, however, as selling prices
fell for the thirty-first month running.