LONDON (AP) 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.

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.