Economic Buzz: China Caixin Services PMI Accelerates To 53.9 In December


The eurozone economy ended 2017 with its strongest growth in nearly seven years, helped by a steep increase in service sector activity and a near-record expansion of manufacturing production, data on Thursday suggested.

Strong rates of expansion in output, new orders and employment were the main drivers behind the manufacturing PMI reaching its highest level since the survey began in mid-1997, IHS said.

Jobs growth quickened to the fastest since September and stronger than the series trend.

The UK services PMI, produced by data firm Markit, has jumped to 54.2 for last month, from 53.8 in November.

The composite output index rose to 58.1 in December from 57.5 in November, final data from IHS Markit showed Thursday. "The turnaround in business activity stemmed from growth in Information & Communications and Finance & Insurance, with declines seen elsewhere".

Multi-year highs were also recorded for new export orders and order backlogs - again, two readings that suggest demand continues to strengthen.

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Meanwhile, input price pressures intensified with the rate of cost inflation accelerating for the second consecutive month. Outstanding business expanded for the nineteenth-straight month.

Greater production requirements also impacted purchasing activity which increased at the fastest pace since February.

"The eurozone manufacturing boom gained further momentum in December, rounding off the best year on record and setting the scene for a strong start to 2018", said chief business economist at IHS Markit, Chris Williamson.

"Business optimism was subdued at levels not seen since 2013, but the improvement in new order growth in December contributed to the biggest surge in job creation since June".

France saw its pace of output growth remain close to November's high.

Samuel Tombs, chief United Kingdom economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said: "The construction sector ended 2017 on a weak note, and it likely will continue to struggle in 2018".