Business

Eurozone economy hits six-year high: survey

BRUSSELS Eurozone business activity hit its highest rate since May 2011 last month, but the outlook remains hostage to political developments, a closely watched survey showed yesterday.

Data monitoring company IHS Markit said its report suggested the 19-nation eurozone economy was set for solid growth, but nothing could be guaranteed as "political uncertainty dominates" - an apparent reference to the election of Mr Donald Trump and continuing turmoil over Brexit.

It said its December Composite Purchasing Managers Index came in at a final 54.4 points, up from November's 53.9 points.

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December was initially also given at 53.9 points.

The index measures companies' readiness to spend on their business and so gives a good idea of how the underlying economy is performing.

IHS Markit chief business economist Chris Williamson said the December figures "signal an even stronger end to 2016 than the preliminary flash numbers, though whether they provide a much-needed springboard for the euro area's recovery to gain further momentum in 2017 remains very uncertain".

He added: "The concern is that domestic demand is likely to remain subdued over the course of 2017 as political uncertainty dominates, resulting in another year of disappointing growth across the region as a whole." - AFP

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