independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Strong business data from eurozone boosts investors

Spain's unemployment rate edged up slightly for the fourth quarter of last year (AP)

THE private sector in the Eurozone kicked off 2014 on a positive note, recording the seventh consecutive month of growth.

Growth picked up in Germany and the rate of decline eased in France, while the rest of the region also saw a strengthening upturn.

New orders across the euro area rose for a sixth month, with backlogs of work continuing to fall marginally, according to the latest flash composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the bloc.

It gauges activity across thousands of businesses and is regarded as a good forward-looking indicator of the health of an economy.

Chris Williamson, economist at financial information firm Markit, which compiles the data, said the Eurozone’s recovery gained further momentum in January.

“Across the region, growth has improved to its fastest since early 2011, meaning the periphery is showing clear signs of starting 2014 on a firm footing,” Mr Williamson said.

“However, while gathering pace, the upturn remains fragile. Companies cut employment again and selling prices continued to fall amid still weak demand.

“Deflationary forces are clearly a concern in many countries.”

The headline PMI rose from 52.1 in December to 53.2 this month.

Anything above 50 indicates expansion while below that signals contraction.

 

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