|Eurozone business activities improve
Private business activity across the eurozone rose to a 10-month high level in January, a leading growth indicator showed on Thursday, but analysts were cautious about underlying recovery of the economy.
The Purchasing Managers' Index published by London-based Markit researchers, a survey of thousands of eurozone companies, logged 48.2 points in compared to 47.2 points the previous month, AFP reports.
January marked a third rise running for the index, even though it remains below the 50-point line indicating economic growth or contraction -- a 16th reading of less than 50 in 17 months.
Manufacturing production fell for the 11th month in a row, with both the manufacturing and services sectors each registering their smallest retreat in 10 months.
The key eurozone economy of Germany powered back to growth, but No. 2 economy France is still in contraction.
Markit chief ecomist Chris Williamson said forward-looking indicators ''suggest that the rate of decline will continue to slow in the coming months, and a return to growth looks to be on the cards during the first half of 2013.''
However, he underlined that "worrying signs of weakness persist, however, with companies cutting staff at a faster rate, reflecting the need to keep costs as low as possible in the face of ongoing uncertainty about the economic outlook.''
"While the surveys add to the mounting evidence that eurozone economic activity turned the corner in late-2012, they indicate that it is not out of the woods yet,'' said London-based IHS Global Insight analyst Howard Archer, who highlighted worries about France.