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    Euro-zone: Markit confirms strongest growth rate in 4 years


    Euro-zone private sector growth picked up in March, with the purchasing managers’ index (PMI) reaching a 4-year peak, confirmed the Markit group in charge of publishing the index. Composite PMI for the Euro-zone settled at 54, against 53.3 in February. A first estimate mentioned 54.1. Any figure above 50 means the economy is growing, whereas any figure below shows it is faltering.  “It is too early to say that the growth rate is sufficient to indicate a strong and lasting upturn in the Euro-zone, but the region is registering its strongest monthly growth since 2011,” highlights Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.

    These figures should reflect a GDP growth of approximately 0.3% in the first term of 2015, according to the economist.

    Amongst the good news: new businesses volume registered its highest increase since the spring of 2011, employment its highest growth in 3 1/2 years, and all 4 largest countries in the Euro-zone saw their economy expand in March.

    Looking at the situation more closely, Germany registered a PMI of 55.4, the highest in 8 months, France 51.5, Italy 52.4 and Spain 56.9. Ireland saw the highest level in March with 59.8.  “BCE (European Central Bank) quantitative easing measures should stimulate the economy of the region in coming months. Therefore, economic prospects for the Eurozone are improving, and growth forecasts could be revised upwards,” added the Markit economist.

    Lars Andersen (Source: Belga)