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Eurozone PMI Signals Moderate Growth In December

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The Eurozone private sector logged a moderate growth in December, rounding off a fourth quarter in which output rose at the weakest pace since the economy started recovery in the second half of 2013, flash survey data from IHS Markit showed Monday.

The composite output index held steady at 50.6 in December, signaling a very modest growth across manufacturing and service sectors. The score was slightly above the forecast of 50.5.

"The economy has been stuck in crawler gear for fourth straight months, with the PMI indicative of GDP growing at a quarterly rate of just 0.1 percent," Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit said.

The manufacturing recession deepened at the end of the year, while the service sector showed signs of resilience.

The services Purchasing Managers' Index advanced more-than-expected to 52.4 from 51.9 in the previous month. The expected reading was 52.0.

Meanwhile, factory PMI declined further in December, to 45.9 from 46.9 in November. The reading was forecast to improve to 47.3.

By country, France continued to provide a key support to growth in the single currency area, but Germany remained in a mild downturn.

France private sector continued to expand but at the slowest pace in three months. The composite output index fell to 52.0 in December, in line with expectations, from 52.1 in November.

The services PMI rose unexpectedly to 52.4 from 52.2 a month ago. Economists had forecast the index to drop to 52.0.

Meanwhile, the manufacturing PMI declined more-than-expected to 50.3 from 51.7 a month ago. The expected reading was 51.4.

Germany's private sector contracted again with growth across the service sector continued to be offset by a downturn in manufacturing.

The composite output index held steady at 49.4 in December. The score was forecast to rise to 50.1.

The services PMI improved to a four-month high of 52.0 from 51.7 a month ago. Nonetheless, the score was below the forecast of 52.3.

Meanwhile, the manufacturing PMI dropped to 43.4 in December from 44.1 in the previous month. The expected reading was 45.0.

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