Business output in the eurozone grew at its fastest rate in nearly four years in March, a closely watched survey suggests.
The CIPS/Markit composite purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 54.1, compared with 53.3 a month earlier – it’s highest level in 46 months.
Any reading above 50 indicates growth while a reading below 50 points to a fall in activity.
Markit said the survey pointed to first-quarter economic growth of 0.3%.
That would match the eurozone growth figure for the final three months of 2014.
It said the improvement in business output was the result of growth in new orders that had increased at their fastest rate since 2011.
Employment also grew at its fastest rate since August 2011.
Job creation in the service sector “held steady” near February’s four year high, Markit said, while in the manufacturing sector it grew at its quickest pace since April last year.
Crucially, the survey showed that deflationary pressures eased in March with prices falling at the slowest rate since July. Markit said this reflected the need for some firms to pass on costs to customers
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