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    Eurozone February business growth strong, France trails other top economies

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    euronews (in English)

    by euronews (in English)

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    Some positive economic news for the eurozone, with new figures suggesting the region’s economy is on course to grow by 0.4 to 0.5 percent in the first three months of this year

    Surveys of thousands of companies by the financial information firm Markit show private businesses enjoyed their fastest growth rate in over two and a half years last month.

    It was though a mixed picture as manufacturing growth slowed, while the service industry expanded quicker than had been initially calculated from the first reading of the February data.

    And there was big geographic variation. The gulf between expansion in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, and the decline in No. 2 France has only been wider once in the 16-year history of the surveys.

    Germany’s composite purchasing manager’s index compiled from the surveys – which includes services and manufacturing – soared to a 33-month high.

    By contrast France’s fell further below the line between expansion and contraction where it has languished for