Private industry in the eurozone unexpectedly bounced back to growth this month for the first time in more than a year and a half.
The news comes in the latest Eurozone Composite Purchasing Managers Index, which is based on surveys of thousands of companies across the region.
Markit, the organisation which carried out the surveys, said the rebound was pretty broad-based and Germany and France had the best responses, but even peripheral eurozone countries are “seeing a return to growth in manufacturing”.
New factory orders increased for the first time since May 2011.
The output index jumped to its highest since June 2011, but that was partly a result of running down backlogs of work.
PMI surveys covering services firms jumped. They make up the bulk of the currency bloc’s economy.
The upbeat surveys come after official data showed French industrial morale was at its highest in over a year in July while Italian retail sales rose on a monthly basis for the first time in 14 months.
Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit said the latest PMI results tentatively pointed to 0.1 percent gross domestic product growth in the 17-nation bloc in the current quarter.
The eurozone economy probably stagnated last quarter, only just scraping out of the recession it has been mired in since late 2011.