Euro zone manufacturers ended 2017 by ramping up activity at the fastest pace in more than two decades, a survey showed on Tuesday, and rising demand suggests they will start the new year on a high.The bloc’s economy outpaced its peers last year, and the European Central Bank plans to scale back its stimulus programme from this month. IHS Markit’s December final manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for the bloc was 60.6, matching an earlier preliminary reading and above November’s 60.1. That was the highest since the survey began in June 1997.An index measuring output, which feeds into a composite PMI due on Thursday and seen as a good guide to economic health, rose to 62.2 from November’s 61.0 – its highest in over 17 years and has only been above that once in the survey’s history.
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