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Eurozone economy ‘booming’ says key survey

Brussels - Business rose sharply across the eurozone in November, a key survey showed, as job creation hit the fastest pace in 17 years and the economic recovery in Europe gained steam.

Analysts said Thursday that the rise in the headline readings of the survey by data monitoring company IHS Markit was a confirmation that the eurozone economy was resilient against the shock of Brexit and would mean a banner year for economic growth.

"The message from the latest Eurozone PMI is clear: business is booming," said Chris Williamson of IHS Markit.

Williamson added that jobs "are being created at the fastest rate since the dot-com boom ... (and) firms are struggling to meet demand."

A purchasing managers' index (PMI) compiled by Markit rose to 57.5 in November after 56.0 in October, the group said in a statement. Anything above 50 is in positive territory.

In a rare breakthrough, France surged to its highest growth pace since May 2011, well above expectations and beating Germany for the fourth time in five years.

Given the latest evidence of healthy growth and falling unemployment, the ECB will be comforted in its decision in October to slash by half the mass bond-buying it has used to buoy the eurozone.

But Williamson warned that turbulence could be coming ahead, though he did not specifically mention the political deadlock in Germany, the bloc's biggest economy.

"There are signs that political uncertainty appears to have subdued business optimism a little, but the broad-based nature of the upturn... suggests the eurozone will see a strong end to 2017 and enter 2018 on a firm footing," he said.

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