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The eurozone economy is still expanding, despite the supposed shock of the UK’s recent Brexit vote, a survey suggests. The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) says eurozone activity in August was at its highest for seven months. The index measures the spending intentions of companies in Europe and is compiled each month by the financial information service Markit. As such, it is widely seen as a good indicator of business activity. The initial, or “flash”, reading for the eurozone PMI in August was 53.3, up from 53.2 in July.
Markit’s chief economist, Chris Williamson, said the eurozone economy “remains on a steady growth path in the third quarter, with no signs of the recovery being derailed by Brexit uncertainty”.
A French government report omitted significant details of how Renault’s diesel cars were able to emit fewer deadly gasses when subject to official emissions testing, members of the state inquiry told the Financial Times. The inquiry’s report, published last month, found some models emitted nitrogen oxides – a cause of respiratory diseases linked to early death – at levels nine to 11 times higher than EU limits.
Volkswagen was forced yesterday to call a halt to production at six plants across Germany in a bitter dispute with suppliers as the carmaker’s woes deepened in the fallout from its emissions cheating scandal. The shutdown of lines making the top-selling Golf and Passat models means almost 28,000 employees will be left idle this week while managers hold crisis talks with two suppliers over contracts abruptly cancelled by VW.
Oil prices dropped back beneath $50 a barrel yesterday as signs of increasing production took the heat out of last week’s rally. A ceasefire in Nigeria, increasing exports from Iraq and dwindling hopes that a production freeze will be agreed between Opec members and others such as Russia, saw the price of Brent crude in New York last night trading 3.4 per cent lower at $49.18 a barrel.
A record number of used cars were bought in the first half of the year. Nearly 4.1million second-hand motors changed hands, up 7.9% year on year. The jump mirrors booming new car sales, said trade body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. The most sought-after used cars are aged between one and three years. Superminis are the top choice, with the Ford Fiesta the best-sellers. And silver is the most popular, followed by black and blue.