Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Economy | By Shawn Conner

Eurozone Private Sector Growth Fastest Since Early 2011

Eurozone Private Sector Growth Fastest Since Early 2011

December data indicated a marked improvement in United States manufacturing operating conditions. According to the final IHS Markit Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for 2017, eurozone manufacturing reached 60.6 in December, the highest level since mid-1997 due to strong rates of expansion in output, new orders and employment. Rates of expansion in France and Greece were the fastest for over 17 and nine years respectively while growth remained "robust" in Italy and Spain, said IHS Markit.

Indicating a marginal uptick in services sector activities in December, the Nikkei Services Business Activity Index rose to 50.9 in the month from 48.5 in November.

The UK services PMI, produced by data firm Markit, has jumped to 54.2 for last month, from 53.8 in November. The growth in the sector was attributed to improved demand conditions in sectors like information & communications and finance & insurance.

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At the same time, consumer credit continued to expand at a fairly strong £1.4bn on the month.

Factories across the globe warned they are finding it increasingly hard to keep up with demand, potentially forcing them to raise prices as the world economy looks set to enjoy its strongest year since 2011. Panellists linked rises to higher raw material prices, which partly stemmed from supplier delays.

In terms of job creation both sectors - manufacturing and services - outstripped historical averages signalling a continued revival of the labour market.

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"2017 was a year to remember for the German economy, and it's encouraging to see that it ended on a high for the service sector as well as manufacturing", said Phil Smith, principal economist at IHS Markit. With business optimism about the year ahead running at its highest for two years in the closing months of 2017, companies are clearly expecting to be busier in 2018.

"A key development to watch out for in 2018 is the potential advent of accelerating inflation", said Larry Hatheway, chief economist at GAM.

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