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Eurozone growth hits seven-month high; job creation fastest since 2011

20 February 2015

Growth of business activity in the euro area economy hit a seven-month high in February, according to the 'flash' reading of the Markit Eurozone PMI". The survey's Composite Output Index rose from 52.6 in January to 53.5.

Markit Eurozone PMI and GDP

February's PMI surveys paint an upbeat picture of improving eurozone economic health. Undeterred by the ongoing Greek debt crisis, economic growth is gathering momentum and looks set to gain further traction in coming months. The economy is on course to grow by at least 0.3% in the first quarter, assuming March doesn't disappoint.

Even more encouraging is the faster rate of job creation reported during the month. Employment is now rising at the steepest rate since 2011 as employers become increasingly confident in the outlook and eager to take on staff to meet rising demand.

With the ECB's quantitative easing 'bazooka' due to start in March, business optimism has been boosted to its highest for three-and-a-half years.

Growth is looking lop-sided, however, and very much dependent on the services economy where lower prices are fuelling growth, especially in consumer-facing sectors. The weakness of the manufacturing economy remains a major concern.

A key development this month is that France is no longer languishing in stagnation. The region's second-largest economy is now seeing the strongest growth since mid-2011, with French consumers apparently awakened by lower prices.

To read the full press release, please click the link below.


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Chris Williamson | Chief Business Economist, IHS Markit
Tel: +44 20 7260 2329
chris.williamson@ihsmarkit.com

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