Global output at five-year high

 
City A.M. Reporter
Global businesses grew at their fastest pace in almost five years last month but also witnessed increasing price pressures, a purchasing managers' survey has shown.

The JP Morgan Global All-Industry Output Index, which combines manufacturing and services data, rose to 59.4 from January's 58.3, its highest reading since April 2006.

"The global economic recovery strengthened in February, and remained broad-based across manufacturing and services.

"Cost inflation remains a concern, however, especially with oil and other commodities continuing to rise in price," said David Hensley at JP Morgan.

The services PMI, based on surveys of thousands of services firms in the world's major economies, rose to 59.3 in February from 58.2 in January.

It stayed above the 50 mark separating growth from contraction for a 19th month.

But the price of the growth is high as input cost inflation accelerated to its highest since September 2008 in February, led by a substantial increase in costs at U.S. non-manufacturing companies. Rates of inflation were also above the global average in Britain, Russia and Hong Kong, JP Morgan said.

Employment increased for the eleventh month running in February, and at the most marked pace since June 2007.

Earlier data showed Europe's private sector surged ahead at its fastest pace in almost five years in February but growth slowed in China and Britain.

The U.S. services sector grew at a slightly faster pace in February, with its PMI hitting a five-year high.

The global indicator, produced by JP Morgan with research and supply management organisations, combines survey data from around 20 countries including the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia.