LONDON (AP) -- Companies in the eurozone are hiring at the fastest pace in over a decade, according to a closely-watched survey of business activity published Tuesday.
The purchasing managers' index, a gauge of activity in the services and manufacturing sectors by IHS Markit, edged down to 55.9 points in October from 56.7 in September. The index is on a 100-point scale, with anything above 50 indicating growth.
Though the index's overall figure edged down, the relatively high level suggests the 19-country eurozone economy continued its strong period of expansion this year.
Firms reported a rise in orders, leading to the need to hire more staff. The rate of job creation was the highest in over a decade.
Manufacturing in particular is enjoying a boom, thanks in part to a decline in the value of the euro earlier this year. Jobs growth in the sector was the highest since the survey began in June 1997.
France and Germany stood out as top performers in the bloc, with smaller economies growing at a slightly slower but still robust pace.
"The eurozone economy has had a good year so far, and the initial signs are that this has continued at the start of the final quarter of 2017," said Andrew Harker, associate director of IHS Markit.