Eurozone economic momentum continues into 2017

Markets Associated Press

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for an EU summit, in Valletta, Malta, Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for an EU summit, in Valletta, Malta, Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia) (The Associated Press)

  • A construction worker stands on top of a building site in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. The Spanish economy grew 3.2 percent in 2016 according to preliminary figures released by the National Institute of Statistics consolidating three consecutive years of strong growth after showing a stronger recovery from a collapsed real estate boom, but the jobless rate remains at 18.4 percent despite a substantial drop in December from 20.7 percent. (AP Photo/Paul White)

    A construction worker stands on top of a building site in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. The Spanish economy grew 3.2 percent in 2016 according to preliminary figures released by the National Institute of Statistics consolidating three ... consecutive years of strong growth after showing a stronger recovery from a collapsed real estate boom, but the jobless rate remains at 18.4 percent despite a substantial drop in December from 20.7 percent. (AP Photo/Paul White) (The Associated Press)

A closely watched survey shows that the eurozone economy, which is made up of the 19 countries that use the euro, got off to a strong start in 2017.

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Financial information company IHS Markit says its gauge of business activity across both the manufacturing and services sectors — the so-called composite output index — held steady at a five-and-a-half-year high of 54.4 in January, still way above the 50 threshold between expansion and contraction. Even more impressive, a job creation gauge spiked to a nine-year high.

The survey comes hot on the heels of figures showing the eurozone expanded by a healthy 0.5 percent quarterly tick in the final three months of the year and several other indicators pointing to a pick-up in economic activity.