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Europe’s Return to Growth Comes With a Warning About Jobs

  • Euro-zone composite PMI jumps to 54.8, beating 51.1 estimate
  • But soft demand means companies continue to reduce headcount
Employees wearing protective face masks stand inside the factory of Valeo in Etaples, France on May 26.
Employees wearing protective face masks stand inside the factory of Valeo in Etaples, France on May 26.

Photographer: Ludovic Marin/AFP via Getty Images 

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Europe’s economy is finally showing signs of growing again after months of an unprecedented slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Private-sector activity in the euro area rose to the highest in more than two years in July, with both services and manufacturing showing expansion. In the U.K., retailers saw sales volumes rise in June close to pre-lockdown levels, even as social distancing measures prevented a complete return to normal.