The eurozone economic activity increased for the eighteenth successive month in December, with the latest PMI data signalling a mild gain in growth momentum at year-end.
However, the rate of expansion remained among the weakest seen over the past year-and-a-half, the latest data from Markit Eurozone PMI Composite Output Index has revealed.
At 51.4 in December, from 51.1 in November, the index was below the flash estimate of 51.7. Moreover, the average reading over the final quarter as a whole (51.5) is the worst performance since the third quarter of 2013.
The slight improvement in growth momentum in December was centred on the service sector, where business activity rose at a faster pace.
Manufacturing production also continued to increase, but to the least marked degree during the current one-and-a-half year sequence of expansion. The gains signalled in both sectors were also only modest overall.
Weakness was again evident in the big-three economies of Germany, France and Italy. German economic output posted a mild acceleration at year-end, but the rate of expansion was still lacklustre compared with earlier in 2014 as December saw inflows of new work fall for the second straight month.