Eurozone business activity ends year on upbeat note

A survey shows that business activity across the 19-nation eurozone is growing at a relatively strong pace at the end of the year thanks to an upturn in manufacturing.

The purchasing managers' index, a gauge of activity in the manufacturing and services sectors, held at 53.9 points in December, the same as in November. The index, published Thursday by IHS Markit and subject to revision, is on a 100-point scale, with 50 marking the threshold between growth and contraction.

The findings show that inflows of new business, employment and backlogs of work remained strong. An acceleration in growth in manufacturing also offset a slight slowdown in services.

Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said the index points to quarterly growth of 0.4 percent in the eurozone, which shares the euro currency.