There has been more mixed news on the euro zone’s economic recovery.
The latest Markit Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index – which gauges activity in thousands of services and manufacturing companies – fell in August; it was down by more than economists had predicted.
But the survey showed that businesses were more optimistic about the near future.
According to the numbers, Europe’s recovery is holding up better than that in the United States – for now anyway.
They suggested a slowdown may take longer to arrive in Europe.
That slowdown is expected on the back of big budget cuts and reduced global demand.
However, the report added to signs of very varied growth rates between countries.
There is big reliance on the robust expansion in the region’s two largest economies – Germany and France.
Elsewhere in the euro zone there was stagnation or contraction.
Survey compiler Markit said: “We are seeing this very much centred on the core nations, it has not spread to the peripheral nations and in many ways this divergence is widening.”