Eurozone economy sees more evidence of a pickup

Further evidence has emerged to show that the 19-country eurozone economy ended 2016 strongly.

In a wide-ranging survey of economic activity across the single currency bloc, the European Union found sentiment running at near six-year highs. Its economic sentiment indicator rose 1.2 points to 107.8, its highest level since March 2011.

Friday's survey found confidence up across sectors, from retail to industry, and in most countries. Italy, though, was flat and Spain suffered a retreat.

That echoes other recent findings showing that the eurozone economy gained traction in the latter months of 2016. A number of economists now think the eurozone economy expanded at a quarterly tick of 0.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016, up from 0.3 percent in the previous three-month period.