Euro zone business activity bounces back

Eurozone manufacturing and service activity in February hit the highest level since July 2006, according to figures released today.

The Eurozone composite output index compiled by the Markit research firm rose 1.4 points from January to 58.4 points this month.

It said the latest reading "signalled the strongest monthly expansion since July 2006 and one of the strongest growth rates in the near 13-year history of the survey."

Service business activity alone rose to 57.2 points from 55.9 points in January, with manufacturing output at 61.1 points, up from 59.4 points for a 10-month high, Markit said in a statement.

The eurozone manufacturing sector purchasing managers index, a forward looking measure, hit 59 points, its highest since June 2000, up from from 57.3 points.

A reading above 50 indicates activity is expanding.

Markit said the figures showed "growth has accelerated sharply since hitting a low last October, with manufacturing continuing to lead the renewed upturn in February... the service sector has also seen an improved performance."