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Eurozone Factory Growth At Record High

Eurozone manufacturing sector activity grew the most since the survey began in mid-1997, final data from IHS Markit showed Tuesday.

The factory Purchasing Managers' Index improved to 60.6 in December, in line with flash estimate, from 60.1 in November.

This was the highest score since mid-1997 and identical to the flash estimate published on December 14.

The growth spurt means many forecasters, notably the European Central Bank, have revised their euro area growth projections for 2018 higher, Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said.

"The missing element has been sustained higher inflation, but the near-record incidences of supply chain delays seen towards the end of 2017 indicate that pricing power is shifting from the buyer to the seller, suggesting upward price pressures are gradually returning," Williamson added.

PMI readings were at survey record highs in Austria, Germany and Ireland. The rate of expansion in France was the fastest for over 17 years.

Germany's IHS Markit/BME manufacturing PMI rose to an all-time high of 63.3 in December from 62.5 in November. The reading surpassed the previous highest level of 62.7 posted in February 2011 and came in line with flash estimate.

France's factory PMI rose to 58.8 in December from 57.7 in November. Although the index signaled the sharpest improvement in business conditions since September 2000, the score was below the flash estimate of 59.3.

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