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.

IHS Markit’s final composite purchasing managers index (PMI) for the eurozone, seen as a good overall indicator of growth, rose to 54.9 in June from May’s 54.1, comfor...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now