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Dec. 14, 2017, 6:24 a.m. EST

Eurozone business activity at its strongest since 2011: IHS Markit

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By Carla Mozee

Business activity in the eurozone revved higher in December, led by strong factory output and an upturn in the service sector, data firm IHS Markit said Thursday. The preliminary, or flash, composite purchasing managers' index came in at 58.0, the highest since February 2011, and above FactSet's consensus estimate of 57.2. "The PMI is signalling an impressive 0.8% GDP increase in the fourth quarter," said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, in a statement. The manufacturing PMI rose to a record of 60.6 in December. Overall, French business-activity growth outpaced that of Germany's for a third straight month, said IHS Markit. "France has been the big surprise this year, rapidly pulling out of its malaise to help shift the eurozone expansion into a higher gear," said Williamson.

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