The outlook for the euro zone’s private sector has been given another lift, as new data showed businesses in the region enjoyed the fastest rate of expansion in three years in the first quarter of 2014.
The upturn in the 18-member bloc’s fortune was led by Ireland, where manufacturing and services data pointed to the steepest increase in output and growth surged to a seven-year record in March.
Separate data released on Thursday also brought good news for the region. The volume of retail trade in the euro area in February rose by 0.4 percent from January, slightly below the 0.6 percent forecast by a poll of Reuters analysts. Year-on-year, retail sales are up 0.8 percent in the region according to the statistical office of the European Union, Eurostat.