Eurozone manufacturing: Fresh data shows steady recovery

The year’s first economic numbers show encouraging signs that the eurozone’s economic recovery is steady and moving in the right direction, despite gloomy predictions.

Manufacturing expanded in December at its fastest pace since April 2011. Orders jumped, despite companies raising their prices due to increasing raw materials costs.

“Eurozone manufacturers are entering 2017 on a strong footing, having ended 2016 with a surge in production,” said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit which carried out the surveys.

“To put the PMI data into perspective, the five-and-a-half-year high reached in December is broadly consistent with factory output growing at an impressive annual rate of approximately 4%.”

The survey of companies’ purchasing managers showed growth was strongest in the Netherlands and Austria.

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