Eurozone growth remains fastest for six years, says PMI survey

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German industrial robot manufacturer KukaImage source, Getty Images

New orders and jobs supported strong business activity across the eurozone in May, according to new data.

Growth last month remained at its fastest pace for six years, according to a survey of purchasing managers in both services and manufacturing.

IHS Markit, which compiles the data, said the eurozone's "big two" nations, Germany and France, drove the growth.

It also said May's reading adds to evidence that single currency-nations are "enjoying a strong second quarter".

Business activity across the eurozone was 56.8, said IHS Markit, which was the same as April.

The index has been above the 50-mark that divides growth from contraction since the middle of 2013.

Manufacturing was particularly robust last month. The increase in demand drove the need for new staff which IHS Markit said led to employment "rising at one of the quickest rates seen over the past decade".

Manufacturing was the main driver behind German growth while services supported France.

Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said: "The final readings add to mounting evidence that the eurozone is enjoying a strong second quarter, consistent with GDP rising at a 0.7% rate.

He added: "With the rate of job creation rising to one of the highest seen over the past decade, the recovery is also becoming more sustainable, as the improved labour market should feed through to higher consumer spending."