LONDON, (Reuters) - Euro zone factories had their busiest month for over 17 years in November in a broad based acceleration, a purchasing managers’ index showed, despite them hiking prices at the fastest rate in more than six years.
Forward looking indicators pointed to the momentum continuing through to the end of 2017, capping off what is expected to be the best year for euro zone economic growth in a decade.
“November’s surveys produced a clean sheet of improved PMI readings for all countries, resulting in the best performance for euro zone manufacturing since the height of the dot-com boom,” said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at survey compiler IHS Markit.
IHS Markit’s final manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for the bloc climbed to 60.1 last month from October’s 58.5.
That was above a preliminary estimate of 60.0 and the second-highest in the survey’s 20-year history.
An index measuring output which feeds into a composite PMI due on Tuesday and seen as a good gauge of economic growth jumped to 61.0 from 58.8, its highest since February 2011.
Suggesting the expansion will continue through December, new orders soared, backlogs of work were built up at a survey-record pace and headcount was increased at the fastest rate since IHS Markit started measuring it in mid-1997.
That upturn came despite firms increasing prices. The output price index bounced to 56.8 from October’s 55.8, a level not seen in over six years.
Inflationary pressures, alongside booming growth, will likely be welcomed by policymakers at the European Central Bank who announced in October a cut to monthly bond buying from January.
Editing by Toby Chopra