Confidence high in eurozone after ECB's QE 'bazooka'


A survey suggests that eurozone companies have taken heart from the European Central Bank's decision to unleash a Eur1.1tn stimulus into the economy, with business confidence rising to its highest level in three-and-a-half years. Markit's purchasing managers' index found that expectations of business activity for the year ahead have risen to their highest since May 2011. The PMI climbed to 53.5 in February, up from 52.6 in January, marking the third consecutive month of expansion among eurozone companies. Meanwhile, job creation grew at its fastest rate since August 2011. Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said the ECB's 'quantitative easing bazooka' had boosted confidence at companies. But he warned: 'Growth is looking lopsided, and very much dependent on the services economy where lower prices are fuelling growth, especially in consumer-facing sectors. The weakness of the manufacturing economy remains a major concern.'


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