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Eurozone Private Sector PMI Rises Less Than Initial Estimate

The Eurozone private sector expanded in February albeit at a slower than initially estimated pace, survey data from Markit Economics showed Wednesday.

The composite output index rose to 53.3 in February from 52.6 in January. The reading was slightly below the flash score of 53.5.

Nonetheless, it signaled an expansion for the twentieth month in a row and the growth rate of economic output accelerated for the third straight month, rising to its highest since last July.

The services Purchasing Managers' Index rose to a 7-month high of 53.7 in February from 52.7 in January. It was also below 53.9 estimated on February 20.

For the first time since April 2014, expansions in economic activity were signaled across each of the 'big-four' Eurozone economies.

"The increasingly positive survey data put the region's GDP on course to grow by 0.3 percent in the first quarter," Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit said.

Germany's private sector expanded at the fastest pace in four months. The composite PMI came in at 53.8 in February, compared to 53.5 in January and below 54.3 flash reading.

The final services PMI rose to a 5-month high of 54.7 in February from 54 in January, but well below the flash score of 55.5.

A key development from the February surveys was that France exited stagnation. The French composite PMI rose to a 42-month high of 52.2 from 49.3 in January. The score matched flash estimate.

The services PMI also came in at a 42-month high of 53.4, in line with flash reading, versus 49.4 in January.

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