Hong Kong Business PMI Rises To 51.5 In December - Nikkei

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The eurozone economy ended 2017 with its strongest growth in nearly seven years, helped by a steep increase in service sector activity and a near-record expansion of manufacturing production, data on Thursday suggested.

That means that in the final throngs of 2017, activity levels improved at the fastest pace since the recovery from the global financial crisis. According to the final IHS Markit Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for 2017, eurozone manufacturing reached 60.6 in December, the highest level since mid-1997 due to strong rates of expansion in output, new orders and employment.

"While a pick-up in new orders to a seven-month high in December offers some hope for construction going into 2018, it looks like it is going to be another challenging year for the sector". Panellists attributed greater production to more favourable demand conditions and increased new order volumes. Exports sales, however, grew at a marginal pace.

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At the same time, consumer credit continued to expand at a fairly strong £1.4bn on the month.

India's retail inflation in November breached the central bank's medium-term target of 4 percent, which could put pressure on it to raise policy rates in the coming months. The report noted faster growth of output, total new work and export sales, as well as an increase in backlogs of work.

Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, described December as a "stellar end to 2017 for the eurozone" and said that the numbers continued to "confound widely-held fears that rising political uncertainty would curb economic growth". Volkswagen AG's main passenger-car brand said last Friday that production reached a record high past year with global output of more than 6 million vehicles, while Philippe Buros, Renault SA head of sales for France, told BFM Business radio Tuesday that French orders are up too. Panellists linked rises to higher raw material prices, which partly stemmed from supplier delays. That's something that likely weighed on staff hiring plans.

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