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Euro-Area Manufacturing Expands Faster Than Estimated

Feb. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Euro-area factory output expanded faster than initially estimated in January, led by Germany and France, as the currency bloc’s economic recovery gained traction.

An index based on a survey of purchasing managers in the manufacturing industry increased to 54 from 52.7 in December, London-based Markit Economics said in a statement today. That exceeds Markit’s initial estimate of 53.9 on Jan. 23. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

The euro-area performance was driven by Germany. The Markit index for the bloc’s largest economy beat the flash estimate and increased to 56.5, a 32-month high, from 54.3. In France, the gauge rose to a four-month high of 49.3.

Today’s manufacturing data added to encouraging signs that Europe’s nascent recovery is strengthening. Economic confidence increased for a ninth month in January, and industrial production increased an annual 3 percent in November. The European Central Bank forecasts 1.1 percent economic growth in the euro zone this year, accelerating to 1.5 percent in 2015.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Henry in Brussels at phenry8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net

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