Eurozone sees rise in activity

EUROZONE economic activity rose at its fastest pace for two years in November, raising hopes that the economic recovery is well underway.<br /><br />The data shows the eurozone economy made further progress after emerging from its worst ever recession in the third quarter, although the rate of growth to come is likely to be weak.<br /><br />Markit Economic&rsquo;s Eurozone Flash Service Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), composed of surveys of around 2,000 companies ranging from cafes to banks, rose to 53.2 in November from 52.6 in October, its highest since November 2007.<br /><br />It was the third month in a row the index was above the 50 mark, which separates growth from contraction, and beat economists&rsquo; expectations of it hitting 52.8.<br /><br />Earlier data showed Germany&rsquo;s industrial and services economies picking up again, while France powered forward with its services PMI hitting its highest level since October 2006.<br /><br />Both countries made their way out of recession in the second quarter of the year, followed by Italy in the third, and leaving only Spain among the four largest economies still struggling to exit the recession.<br /><br />&ldquo;The November survey suggests that the eurozone continued to expand at a robust pace, raising hopes that GDP growth in the final three months of the year could outpace the 0.4 per cent rise seen the third quarter,&rdquo; said Chris Williamson at Markit Economics.<br /><br />But he added the new orders index fell to its lowest level since February. This, together with rising unemployment, &ldquo;highlighted the fragility of the recovery,&rdquo; he said.