The euro area’s manufacturing sector improved during October, a London-based global data company said on Wednesday. 

IHS Markit reported that the eurozone manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) reached 50.6, up from 50.1 in September, signaling a growth rate among the weakest over the past six-and-a-half years.

Manufacturing firms saw a ninth successive month of declining production while the services sector indicated further growth, albeit at the second-weakest rate since January.

As a critical gauge of manufacturing sector health, monthly PMI indices are based on surveys and national data, and indicate growth compared to the previous month when above 50

Read more: Eurozone manufacturing PMI at 50.6 in October