With business activity at near 4-year high, survey finds eurozone economy gaining momentum

Economic Indicators Associated Press

The 19-country eurozone economy appears to be gaining momentum as a closely-watched survey found business activity at a near four-year high in March.

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In its monthly survey, financial information company Markit says its purchasing managers' index for the region rose to 54.1 points in March from 53.3 in February. That puts the index at its highest level since May 2011. Anything above 50 indicates expansion.

Markit says the upturn was largely fueled by new orders and that the improvement was broad-based across sectors. The survey found Germany, the currency bloc's biggest economy, doing particularly well and France improving.

Chris Williamson, Markit's chief economist, says Tuesday that the European Central Bank's recently launched monetary stimulus has started "at a time when the eurozone's economic upturn is already starting to gain traction."