The Eurozone private sector growth improved markedly to hit a near six-year high in February, flash survey data from IHS Markit showed Tuesday.
The composite output index rose to a 70-month high of 56.0 in February from 54.4 in January. The latest reading was the highest since April 2011 and well above the expected reading of 54.3.
Growth accelerated in both manufacturing and services to rates not seen since early-2011. The manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index climbed unexpectedly to 55.5 from 55.2 in January. The reading was forecast to fall to 55.
The services PMI improved to 55.6 in February, while it was forecast to remain stable at 53.7.
Job creation was the best seen for nine and a half years, order book growth picked up and business optimism moved higher, all boding well for the recovery to maintain strong momentum in coming months. Meanwhile, inflationary pressures continued to intensify.
“The rise in the flash PMI to its highest since April 2011 means that GDP growth of 0.6 percent could be seen in the first quarter if this pace of expansion is sustained into March,” Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said.
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