London — Eurozone business growth accelerated in June, offering encouragement to the European Central Bank (ECB) to tighten policy, but optimism among purchasing managers was at its lowest ebb since late 2016, a survey found. Faster growth across the currency union, alongside rising price pressures, will reassure ECB policy makers who said in June that the bank would shut its hallmark bond purchase scheme by the end of 2018. But in a balanced announcement reflecting uncertainties hanging over the economy, the ECB signalled on June 14 that any interest-rate hike was still distant. The UK provided a similar story of stronger growth. Its large services industry grew in June at its fastest rate since October, suggesting the economy might be strong enough for the Bank of England to raise rates in August, as expected.

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