Business

Eurozone manufacturing output expands in February

Steel worker
Image caption Markit did note signs of inflationary pressures across the eurozone

Eurozone factory output rose 1.4 points to 58.4 points in February, the strongest expansion since July 2006, according to the Markit Purchasing Managers' Index.

Markit said it was "one of the strongest growth rates in the near 13-year history of the survey".

Any value above 50 indicates expansion in the manufacturing sector.

Separately, the German Ifo institute said its closely-watched business confidence index had also risen.

The index rose to 111.2 points in February, from 110.3 points in January, its ninth consecutive month-on-month rise.

Pick-up

Analyst Ben May at Capital Economics welcomed the data.

"February's eurozone PMI and German Ifo surveys suggest that the eurozone and German economies have started the year with a bang," he said.

"The rise in the composite PMI index from 57.0 to 58.4... reflected a sharp pick-up in both the manufacturing and service sector indices."

However, Markit did note signs of inflationary pressures across the eurozone.

Its survey showed the costs of raw materials and energy rising at their fastest pace since the survey began.

The eurozone's inflation rate rose to 2.4% in January, over the European Central Bank's target of just below 2%.

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