Despite uncertainties generated by Ukraine crisis, eurozone economy appears to be holding up

Economic IndicatorsAssociated Press

Further evidence has emerged that the economic recovery across Europe is gaining some traction, providing some headroom against the potential impact from a further escalation in the crisis in Ukraine.

Financial information company Markit says Tuesday that its purchasing managers index — a gauge of business activity — for the 18-country eurozone rose to a three-month high of 53.8 points in July, a full point higher than the previous month's figure.

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Though that was down on the preliminary estimate of 54.0, the survey points to a further pick-up in growth — anything above 50 indicates expansion.

Markit says the services sector was a key pillar behind the monthly advance.

Separately, the European Union's statistics office Eurostat says retail sales across the eurozone rose by a monthly 0.4 percent in June.