Business activity in the euro zone expanded at its fastest pace since June 2011 in January, driven by the region’s burgeoning manufacturing sector.
Markit’s composite purchasing manager’s index (PMI) for the 18-nation currency zone rose to 52.9 in January, up from 52.1 in December. It was, however, lower than the flash estimate of 53.2 (a reading over 50 marks expansion).
Separate data, also published Wednesday, revealed that December was a tough month for the retail sector. Sales fell by 1 percent in the month compared to December 2012 – significantly lower than the 1.5 percent rise expected by economists.