Brussels, Feb 21 (AFP/APP):Growth in eurozone business activity slowed this month from the 12-year high it hit in January, a key survey showed on Wednesday, but the single currency area's recovery continued apace. Employment growth was also high, according to the report by data monitoring company IHS Markit, with strong job creation seen in both the services and manufacturing sectors.
Analysts at Markit said that despite the slight slowdown, the eurozone was on course for its best quarter for almost 12 years. A purchasing managers' index (PMI) by Markit data monitoring company IHS Markit fell to 57.5 in February from 58.8 in January. A figure over 50 indicates the economy is expanding. The figure is below the forecast by financial services company Factset, which predicted 58.5 for February.
“The slower growth of business activity reflected an easing in the rate of increase of new orders which, while elevated, slipped to a five-month low,” Markit said in a statement.
Europe's powerhouse Germany came in at a three-month low, while in France the PMI was at its weakest level for four months, though both readings still indicated strong growth, Markit said. “February saw the eurozone's growth spurt lose a little momentum, but the rate of expansion remains impressive, putting the region on course for its best quarter for almost 12 years,” Chris Williamson of Markit said.