The Eurozone may yet escape recession thanks to a surprise upturn in the service sector that outweighed the ongoing contraction in manufacturing this month, surveys showed on Tuesday.
Markit's Flash Euro zone Purchasing Managers' Composite Index (PMI), often seen as a growth indicator, jumped to 50.4 from December's 48.3, its highest reading in four months.
That easily beat the highest forecast of 49.5 in a Reuters poll, which gave a median prediction of 48.5.
"The index seems to have bottomed out in October and we've had three months of improvement. Three months we see as a turning point signal, and we are beginning to get a bit more confident," said Chris Williamson, chief economist at data provider Markit.
"So it may not be a recession in the euro zone but a very brief period of decline.
City A.M. Reporter