Investing.com - Euro zone private sector output maintained a robust pace of expansion at the end of the year as a manufacturing upturn offset a slowdown in the service sector, according to data released on Thursday.
The preliminary reading of the Markit manufacturing purchasing managers' index came in at a 32-month high of 54.9 this month from 53.7 in November.
Economists had expected an unchanged reading.
The services PMI fell to a two-month low of 53.1, compared to expectations for 53.8, from 53.8 a month earlier.
The composite output index, which measures the combined output of both the manufacturing and service sectors was unchanged at 53.9, in line with forecasts.
A reading above 50.0 on the index indicates industry expansion, below indicates contraction.
"The euro zone economy is ending 2016 on a strong note. The PMI indicates that business activity has risen at the fastest rate so far this year in the fourth quarter, signalling GDP growth of 0.4%," Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at Markit said.
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