Euro zone business expanded at the fastest rate this year in November, thanks to strong activity at manufacturers and a spike in new orders, even as firms generally held prices steady. David Pollard reports.
A new picture is starting to emerge. Of a stuttering euro zone now beginning to motor along .... The latest reading on manufacturing and services at its highest in almost a year. SOUNDBITE (English) CITY INDEX MARKET ANALYST, KEN ODELUGA, SAYING: "We have begun to turn a corner. Some of the stimulus measures are taking effect." The flash composite reading for November was above forecasts. Manufacturing leading the way up - though services were strong. With Germany doing much of the heavy lifting. And even France surprising to the upside. Signs, perhaps, of a cyclical upturn. Some also see an unexpected Brexit impact. SOUNDBITE (English) CITY INDEX MARKET ANALYST, KEN ODELUGA, SAYING: "There's a rush perhaps to cement relationships in the best way that you can in view of the changing nature of the trading relationship between the United Kingdom and the euro zone." And in the meantime, a cheap euro also providing a much needed boost. SOUNDBITE (English) CITY INDEX MARKET ANALYST, KEN ODELUGA, SAYING: "We don't know how long we can guarantee that that's going to last. I believe that the euro is certainly due for a rebound, which will certainly take it back to 1.10, maybe 1.12 against the dollar." But welcome news too for the European Central Bank in its struggle to power up the economy. Leaving some asking whether it may now think twice before extending its QE programme at its meeting next month.