Growth across the 16-nation eurozone slowed for the second straight month in June, led by a slowdown in new orders, research showed on June 23.
Euro area business activity was still higher but the purchasing managers' index (PMI) compiled by data and research group Markit fell to 56.0 in June, down slightly from May and the post-recession peak of 57.3 in April.
Any score above the 50-point line indicates economic growth.
The manufacturing index also dropped, slightly, to 55.6 points from 55.8, its lowest rate in fourth months.
Markit chief economist Chris Williamson said the "the downturns in growth of output, new orders and exports towards the end of the quarter suggest that economic growth will moderate as we move into the second half of the year."
That could mean "the growth of employment could lose momentum in coming months, highlighting the region's ongoing dependence on exports rather than domestic demand to sustain the recovery," he warned.
The good news is that the index remained above 50 points for the 11th consecutive month.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010