Eurozone economic activity expands at its fastest rate in 2016

An upswing in new orders suggests that the bloc will finish the year on a high...

Eurozone economic activity expands at its fastest rate in 2016

Picture by: Thanassis Stavrakis / AP/Press Association Images

New PMI data suggest that business activity across the eurozone grew at its fastest rate of 2016 during November.

IHS Markit's euro zone flash composite Purchasing Managers' Index climbed to 54.1 - up from 53.3 in October. Any reading above 50 indicates growth.

Importantly the sub-index for new orders is also growing at its fastest rate in 2016 - meaning that this expansion is likely to continue through to the end of the year.

Chris Williamson, IHS Markit’s chief business economist said, "Increasing numbers of firms are boosting capacity as a result of the order book backlog, leading to the joint-largest increase in employment seen this side of the global financial crisis."

November was also the first month during which managers reported price increases - which is a good sign for the ECB which remains far from its target eurozone inflation rate of 2%.

"ECB policymakers will also be pleased to see inflationary pressures are intensifying steadily. Average prices charged for good and services showed the biggest rise for over five years, albeit with the rate of increase being very modest. However, with indicators such as rising backlogs of work and longer supplier delivery times suggesting demand is exceeding supply, price pressures look set to intensify further in coming months," Mr Williamson added.