The eurozone economy ended the third quarter of the year on a strong note, a survey has indicated.
The IHS Markit composite purchasing managers’ index (PMI) suggested private businesses grew faster than expected in September.
It said manufacturers had enjoyed their best month since early 2011.
Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said: “The eurozone economy ended the summer with a burst of activity.”
Business activity during September saw one of its strongest gains for the past six years, the survey indicated.
The “flash” PMI reading for September – which is based on about 85% of replies to the survey – rose to 56.7 from August’s reading of 55.7. A reading above 50 indicates growth.
The manufacturing sector saw the biggest rise in employment in more than two decades, IHS Markit said, adding that the signs were that the next quarter would register strong manufacturing growth as well.
The survey also found that the pick-up in business activity had been accompanied by rising price pressures, with input cost and selling price inflation accelerating for the second month in a row.
It pointed out that the rise in business activity and inflationary pressures would fuel expectations the European Central Bank will, as has long been awaited, start to rein in its asset purchase programme.
The ECB is currently buying 60bn euros (£55bn) of bonds a month as part of its quantitative easing programme.
Earlier this month, the ECB raised its eurozone economic growth forecast for this year to 2.2%, the fastest in 10 years and hinted it could start trimming asset purchases next month