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Eurozone business activity jumps in February

Staff Writer |
The pace of economic activity in the eurozone unexpectedly improved in February, nearing a six-year high.

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Markit's flash composite purchasing managers' index - which measures activity in the manufacturing and services sectors - rose to a 70-month high of 56.0 from 54.4 in January, beating expectations for a reading of 54.3.

The purchasing managers' index for the services industry jumped to 55.6 from 53.7 the month before, a 69-month high and ahead of expectations for it to remain unchanged.

Meanwhile, the PMI for the manufacturing sector increased to 55.5 from 55.2 in January, surpassing analysts' forecasts for a reading of 55.0.

In Germany, the manufacturing PMI rose to 57 from 56.4 in January, beating estimates of 56.0, while the composite PMI jumped to 56.1 from 54.8. This marked a 34-month high and was ahead of expectations for 54.7.

In France, the index for manufacturing fell to 52.3 in February from 53.6 the month before, hitting a three-month low and missing expectations of 53.5.

The composite PMI, however, rose to a 69-month high of 56.2 from 54.1 in January, comfortably beating expectations of 53.7.

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