Business activity in the euro area hit a fresh six-year high in April on strong demand and increasing business prospects, new data showed on Friday.

Flash euro zone PMI (purchasing managers’ index) came in at 56.7 in April, compared to 56.4 in March. This beat expectations of 56.3 in a Reuters poll of economists.

“The euro zone economy has enjoyed a strong start to the second quarter. The April flash PMI is
running at a level consistent with 0.7 percent GDP (gross domestic product) growth, up from 0.6 percent in the first quarter. Such strong growth, if sustained, will inevitably lead to upward revisions to economists’ 2017 forecasts,” Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said in a statement.

A weak euro has boosted manufacturing, according to IHS Markit who compile the data, but the services sector have also expanded. This momentum has led to an uptick in employment rates, it said.

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