Eurozone economy expands at fastest pace since May 2011
Output growth accelerated to a 67-month high to round off the best quarter of the year.
However, price pressures continued to mount, with inflation of both input costs and output charges gathering pace. At 54.4 in December, up from November’s 53.9, the final Markit Eurozone PMI Composite Output Index signalled a faster rate of expansion than the earlier flash estimate.
Manufacturing led the growth acceleration, with production increasing at the quickest pace since April 2014.
Service sector activity also rose solidly, with the rate of increase staying close to November’s 11-month high. Economic expansions were signalled across the ‘big-four’ nations.
The fastest growth was seen in Spain (six-month high) followed closely by Germany (five-month high). The pace of increase in France accelerated to a one-and-a-half year record, but remained below the euro area average.
Italy was the only one among the largest nations to see slower growth. Underpinning the stronger expansion of eurozone economic activity was an improved inflow of new business.
Growth of incoming new orders was the fastest since December 2015 and among the quickest seen over the past five-and-a-half years.
Solid increases were registered across the ‘big-four’ nations, led by Germany (although Germany was the only economy where growth did not accelerate). ■