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: Euro zone business growth unexpectedly accelerated in April, led by service sector

Eurozone economic growth accelerated in April as a rebounding service sector benefitted from loosened COVID-19 restrictions and helped compensate for a near-stalling of manufacturing output.

The  S&P Global purchasing managers index for the the euro zone services industry rose to an eight-month high of 57.7 in April from 55.6 in March. But the manufacturing PMI fell to a 16-month low of 55.3, from 56.5 in March. 

Hiring also picked up and business expectations for the year ahead lifted from March’s 17-month low, albeit with confidence remaining subdued as concerns over the Ukraine war, rising prices, and the lingering effects of the pandemic continued to dampen optimism, especially in manufacturing, Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist, S&P Global Market Intelligence, said Friday.

Prices charged for goods and services meanwhile rose at an unprecedented rate in April amid another near-record rise in firms’ costs, hinting that inflation has further to rise.

The S&P Global Eurozone PMI Composite Output Index rose from 54.9 in March to 55.8 in April, according to the preliminary ‘flash’ reading, signaling the strongest rate of expansion since last September and confounded consensus expectations of the economy slowing during the month. The latest reading is broadly indicative of GDP rising at a solid quarterly rate of just under 0.7%.

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