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Euro-zone Jan. manufacturing PMI edges higher

Euro-zone Jan. manufacturing PMI edges higher (by William L. Watts)

LONDON (MarketWatch)-- Manufacturing activity across the euro zone accelerated at its fastest pace in nine months, with the January purchasing managers index for the sector rising unexpectedly to 57.3 from 57.1 in December, Markit Economics reported Monday. The figure topped a preliminary reading of 56.9. A reading of more than 50 indicates growth in activity, while a reading of less than 50 signals a contraction. Growth was led by Germany, Austria and the Netherlands, but export-led manufacturing growth also picked up in peripheral nations, particularly Ireland and Italy, Markit said. Survey data indicated domestic demand remained a drag on growth in Greece and Spain.