Euro zone business activity continued to expand in February, although at a slower rate than expected, according to a closely-watched survey of the region’s services and manufacturing sectors.
The final composite reading of Markit’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) came in at 53.3 in February, slightly below a preliminary reading of 53.5.
However it marked a rise from January’s reading of 52.6, as a weaker euro continued to give businesses in the region a boost. The 50-point mark separates expansion from contraction.
For the first time since April 2014, economic activity across each of the euro zone economies expanded, Markit said in a note accompanying the data.
“By nation, output growth was again led by Ireland and Spain. The rate of expansion in economic activity also accelerated to a four-month high in Germany, while Italy saw output rise for the second month running (albeit at a slower pace),” the group said.
Another key development from the February surveys was that France’s business activity started to expand. The region’s second-largest economy saw the strongest growth of both output and new business since August 2011.