Eurozone manufacturing makes strong start to Q4

LONDON – A closely watched survey is suggesting the manufacturing sector across the 19-country eurozone has started the final quarter of the year strongly, expanding at its fastest clip in nearly three years.

Financial information company Markit says Wednesday that its purchasing managers’ index — a broad gauge of activity — across the sector rose to 53.5 in October from 52.6 the previous month. Anything above 50 indicates expansion.

Markit says the growth is widespread, with the exception of Greece.

Perhaps the most encouraging feature of Markit’s findings is that employment growth is running at its highest level since mid-2011. Earlier this week, figures showed the eurozone grew at an unspectacular quarterly rate of 0.3 per cent, which isn’t enough to make much of a dent on the region’s 10.1 per cent unemployment rate.