Euro Strong Above $1.36 On Improving Economic Data
According to the Wall Street Journal, the European Union's statistics agency Eurostat released data on Thursday which showed that eurozone sales volumes increased 0.7 percent in August; 0.2 percent higher than estimates but still 0.3 percent below last year's figure in August.
The agency also revised July's figures higher; from 0.1 percent to 0.05 percent.
The rise in retail sales is a good sign for the bloc, as unemployment and government austerity programs have depressed consumer demand. If the steady climb is sustained, it would be a massive boost to the eurozone economy.
The improving sales volumes could be linked to steadily improving consumer confidence in the region as most believe the worst of the financial crisis is over. The eurozone has also attempted to shift some of its policy away from austerity programs in order to allow the fragile economies some room to grow.
Adding to the currency's strength was services PMI data which showed that growth in services companies across the bloc grew at its fastest rate since June 2011. Markit's Services PMI reading for the eurozone increased from 50.7 to 52.2 in September. The rise added to the growing list of economic indicators which suggest the region's recovery is gaining momentum.
The data for individual countries showed that Germany led the way with a strong reading; followed by France and Italy, which both posted readings above the 50 point mark that indicates growth for the first time in more than a year.
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