Eurozone business activity hit a near four-year high in March as the 19-country currency area's modest economic activity continued despite concerns over the Greek debt crisis, a key survey said Tuesday.
The closely watched Markit Economics report Composite Purchasing Managers Output Index (PMI) rose to 54.1 points from 53.3 in February, putting it well above the 50-point mark that shows growth.
"The eurozone’s economic recovery gained further momentum in March, with the PMI hitting its highest for almost four years," said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.
"The improvement provides welcome news to a region awaiting signs that the ECB’s quantitative easing is stimulating the real economy."
The European Central Bank earlier this month launched a controversial 1.14-trillion-euro bond purchase programme, known as quantitative easing or QE, which will take place over at least 18 months.
The PMI for the services sector, which accounts for about two-thirds of all economic activity, was at 54.3 in March against 53.7 for February. For manufacturing it was 51.9 in March against 51.0 in February.
"While service providers and manufacturers have been helped by consumers enjoying low prices, manufacturing has also been boosted by exporters benefitting from the weaker euro," added Williamson.