Business activity in the euro zone last month was not as robust as first thought, a survey shows, adding to signs the bloc's recovery remains on track but is struggling to gain momentum. Laura Frykberg reports.
BROADCAST AND DIGITAL RESTRICTIONS~** Broadcasters:NONE Digital:NONE * Food for thought for the euro zone. Markit PMI data has served up some weaker than expected services activity last month. Its final reading was 52.8. Despite some promising manufacturing data earlier in the week. A sign - some say - of an unhealthy balance in the bloc. SOUNDBITE (English) SENIOR FX STRATEGIST, RABOBANK, JANE FOLEY, SAYING: "I think today's numbers show where the strengths and weaknesses of the euro zone economy are. Germany and Spain, for instance, are some of the brighter points, and certainly Ireland being very, very weak." Despite rising costs for euro zone businesses, prices have stayed the same for the second month in a row. Leading to stagnant inflation - far from the ECB's 2 percent target by the end of the year. So far, loose monetary policy has done little to help. But that, doesn't mean the central bank won't come to the rescue again. SOUNDBITE (English) SENIOR FX STRATEGIST, RABOBANK, JANE FOLEY, SAYING: "I think as long as inflation remains very heavy as long as wage growth remains very slack, I think the market can expect the ECB to do more to promote inflation." It's something Japan is struggling with too. October's service sector data could be just what it's craving then. It expanded for the first time in three months. Business sentiment was also up - hitting a six month high.