LONDON (AP) — A closely watched survey is showing that the 19-country eurozone economy continued to grow at a solid tick during August despite sharp slowdowns in Italy and Spain.

Financial information firm IHS Markit said its measure of business activity across manufacturing and services — called the composite purchasing managers' index — rose to 54.5 points during August from 54.4 the previous month. Anything above 50 indicates expansion and August's level points to quarterly economic growth of around 0.4 percent, in line with the second-quarter outcome.

Chris Williamson, IHS Markit's chief business economist, says Italy saw "growth slow sharply in August to suggest the region's third-largest economy is on course for its weakest expansion for nearly two years, while in Spain the third quarter could be the worst for almost five years."