The euro zone's services sector slid further into contraction in July, hitting a five-year low, while inflationary price pressures remained near record levels. Final data in the monthly PMI survey of private sector companies showed that of the big four economies in the euro zone, only in Germany did services activity expand, and in this case slightly more quickly than in June. The RBS/Markit Eurozone Purchasing Managers Index for services companies, which range from banks to cafes, fell to 48.3 in July from 49.1, unrevised from the flash estimate and well below the 50.0 mark that separates growth from contraction.
The French services PMI plummeted to 47.5, its lowest since the survey began in 1998, while Italy slipped into further contraction to a survey low of 45.6.
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