|Positive signs in euro zone factory activity
Business activity in the euro zone posted its strongest growth in 31 months in a sign of recovery although France remained a sore point, a key survey showed.
Markit Economics' said its Euro zone Composite Purchasing Managers Index for December gained to 52.7 from 51.6 in November, the third consecutive monthly rise.
“A strengthening upturn in the manufacturing sector is helping the euro area recovery become firmly established,'' said Markit's chief economist Chris Williamson.
The latest data pointed to an increase in production of 1 percent in the last 2013 quarter.
“With producers reporting further growth of new orders, exports and backlogs of work, the stage is set for a good start to 2014, during which it seems likely that the manufacturing sector will help drive a meaningful, albeit still modest recovery,'' he added.
Germany, Italy and Spain recorded the strongest output rise since early 2011, but France experienced a steep downturn.
“This suggests that competitiveness is a key issue which the French manufacturing sector needs to address,'' Markit said.
Even Greece registered a 52-month high while France fell to a seven-month low.—AFP