The eurozone economy began 2015 in better than expected shape according to the latest business surveys.
Markit the firm that sends questionnaires to thousands of companies found indications of growth.
Its Eurozone Composite Flash Purchasing Managers’ Index bounced to a five-month high of 52.2 from December’s 51.4.
“We are moving away from the lows towards the end of last year, but the actual rate of growth being signalled is still moderate,” said Rob Dobson, senior economist at survey compiler Markit.
However Germany’s private sector was lacklustre and the downturn deepened in France, the region’s second-biggest economy.
In addition firms said they had cut prices at the fastest rate in nearly five years this month, to encourage people to buy.
That underscores the European Central Bank’s concerns about deflation that led to its money-printing stimulus plan.
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