Euro zone recovery continues, business sector records best growth since 2006

An illuminated euro sign is seen in front of the headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) in the late evening in Frankfurt January 8, 2013. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
EUROZONE – Business activity in the euro zone accelerated in January to a 12-year high as the single European currency continued to recover, according to research released Wednesday.

Analysts said the high data from EHSMarket Research showed that the economy in 19 countries using the euro was booming.

The PMI rose from 58.1 in December to 58.6 in January, Markit said. Any reading above 50 means that the economy is expanding.

This is the largest increase since June 2006, while the pace of creating new jobs has been the highest since 2000.

“The eurozone started in 2018 with a strong start as business activity expanded by a 12-year low,” said Chris Williamson of IHSMarket.

“Accelerated growth puts the study data in a consistent position as the economy expands at a very strong quarterly rate of close to 1 percent,” he said.

The pace of growth in France accelerated, with the euro zone’s second-largest economy posting its best performance in the past three months since the spring of 2011, Marquette said.

For Germany, the eurozone’s biggest economy, it posted a slight drop from its peak in December but optimism for the future is growing.

After years of financial crisis, the recovery in the euro area has accelerated in recent months despite concerns about the impact of Britain’s decision to exit the European Union.

The unemployment rate was the lowest since 2009 and the European Central Bank recently increased its growth forecast for 2017 to 2.4 percent.