(MENAFN - AFP) Eurozone manufacturing activity hit a 26-month high in August, confirming other recent data that shows the bloc coming out of a deep recession, a survey showed on Monday.
The Purchasing Managers' Index compiled by Markit Economics for the manufacturing sector jumped to a final 51.4 points in August from 50.3 in July, pushing further beyond the 50-points boom-or-bust line.
The survey is considered to be a reliable leading indicator of the trend for manufacturing industries and an important guide to the direction of the economy.
Markit said the improvement was led by Germany, with Europe's biggest economy, which came in at a 25-month high of 51.8 points, along with the Netherlands on 53.5, Italy 51.3, Austria 52 and Ireland 52.
France however was on 49.7 points, unchanged from July.
Twice bailed-out Greece was the only other country below 50 points at 48.7 but that was still a 44-month high for the struggling country.
"Manufacturing in the euro area continued to show signs of recovery in August," said Chris Williamson, chief Markit economist.
"What's especially encouraging is that the upturn is broad-based, with PMIs rising in all countries with the exception of France where business conditions have at least stabilised after the steep downturn reported earlier in the year," he said.
At the same time, Williamson noted how "companies remain reluctant to take on staff ... (and that) suggests that there's a long way to go before the recovery feeds through to a meaningful job market improvement."
Data last week showed the headline eurozone unemployment rate stuck at a record 12.1 percent in July although the jobless total showed a slight further improvement.
The 17-nation eurozone did however come out of a damaging 18-month recession in the second quarter with better-than-expected growth of 0.3 percent and other surveys point to a modest recovery overall.