LONDON, Aug 23 (Reuters) – Business activity in the euro zone grew strongly this month, only dipping from July’s two-decade high monthly pace, as a rapid COVID-19 vaccination drive allowed more firms to reopen and customers to venture out, a survey showed.

Without ongoing supply chain disruptions, activity could have expanded faster, but fears new coronavirus strains may lead to renewed restrictions continued to dent optimism.

IHS Markit’s Flash Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index, seen as a guide to economic health, fell to 59.5 in August from 60.2 last month. It was ahead of the 50-mark separating growth from contraction but just shy of a Reuters poll estimate for 59.7.

“The euro zone economy is firing on all cylinders again as reopening has had the expected positive effect on growth. Concerns about the impact of the Delta variant and input shortages remain but have not derailed the rebound thus far,” said Bert Colijn at ING.

 

Both the services and manufacturing indices remained in growth territory in Germany, confirming Europe’s biggest economy was on a recovery path, an earlier survey showed. read more

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