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Eurozone business booming

Eurozone businesses ended 2016 by ramping up activity at the fastest pace for five-and-a-half years.

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Eurozone business booming

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There are more signs of economic recovery in the eurozone as businesses across the region ended 2016 by ramping up activity at the fastest pace for five-and-a-half years.

Point of view

Companies are benefiting from the weaker euro

Chris Williamson Chief business economist, IHS Markit

Surveys of companies showed the weaker euro has boosted demand for their goods and services in December.

Among the largest economies the fastest growth was in Spain, closely followed by Germany, with France also doing well. However Italy saw slower growth.

The expansion, which came alongside companies raising prices at the steepest rate since mid-2011, will be welcomed by policymakers at the European Central Bank, who for years have struggled to lift growth and inflation.

“Manufacturers and, to a lesser extent, service sector companies are benefiting from the weaker euro, which is both boosting goods exports and encouraging demand for services exports such as tourism,” said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit.