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Eurozone business activity robust, slips off highs in sign of fragility: survey

BRUSSELS -- Business activity in the 18-nation eurozone stayed robust in February but slipped off its highs, a reminder that the economic recovery remains fragile, a key survey showed on Thursday.

Markit Economics' said its Eurozone Composite Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for February fell to 52.7 points in February from 52.9 in January.

Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had expected this leading indicator to give a reading of 53 points.

Despite the fall, the reading remained above the 50-points growth-downturn line for an eighth month running, Market said.

“A dip in the eurozone PMI provides a reminder that the region's recovery continues to be uneven and fragile,” chief Markit Economist Chris Williamson said.

“The slight easing in growth is disappointing, but it's too early to read too much into one month's data,” Williamson said.

He said that taking January and February together, the PMI readings suggest the eurozone economy should grow 0.5 percent in the first quarter of the year.

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