Business activity across the euro zone accelerated in November as firms struggled to meet booming demand. As Sonia Legg reports, the latest survey is more evidence that the bloc's economy was a star performer this year.
There's still every reason to embrace the Christmas spirit - growth remains solid but Germany's services sector did slow to a three-month low in November. And the political crisis was a factor (SOUNDBITE) (English) TOM STEVENSON, INVESTMENT DIRECTOR, FIDELITY INTERNATIONAL, SAYING: "Certainly the data which has been struck since the collapse of talks for the coalition in Germany suggests that sentiment has taken a bit of a hit." Elsewhere service sector fortunes were reversed too. In France - a recent euro zone laggard - firms were hiring at their fastest pace in 16 years. Italy too saw an acceleration after three straight months of slowing. In contrast Spain's service sector dipped due to uncertainty over Catalonia. Even roaring Ireland - in the news due to Brexit border debates - witnessed weaker domestic demand still 6 points above the level that indicates growth - but also its slowest pace of expansion in 12 months. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TOM STEVENSON, INVESTMENT DIRECTOR, FIDELITY INTERNATIONAL, SAYING: "Overall when you factor in services and manufacturing, put them together the composite PMI data looks pretty good. It looks good in France as well. And so overall I think the outlook for continued economic growth is good in Europe." Business activity certainly looks set to end 2017 on a high note after a busy November. Growth accelerated as firms struggled to meet booming demand. IHS Markit's final composite PMI was confirmed at 57.5 - it's highest level since April 2011 It leaves the euro zone firmly on track to be 2017's star performer.