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MADRID,(Reuters) - Spanish factory activity expanded at the fastest pace in 11 months in December driven by strong orders and increasing output, a survey showed on Monday, adding to expectations of more economic growth in the last quarter.
Markit's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) of manufacturers rose to 55.3 in December from 54.5 in November. The index has held above the 50 line separating growth from contraction every month since November 2013.
"The Spanish manufacturing PMI signaled that the sector ended 2016 on a high, with growth back at the levels seen at the start of the year. The picture is much more positive than in the summer when output and new orders stagnated," senior economist at Markit Andrew Harker said.
New factory orders expanded at their fastest pace since the beginning of the year in December, rising to 57.1 from 55.4 a month earlier.
The government has said it expects the economy to expand at up to 0.8 percent, quarter on quarter, in the October to December period.
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Reporting by Paul Day; Editing by Hugh Lawson