BRUSSELS, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- The end of 2016 saw the eurozone economy maintain a robust pace of expansion as output growth accelerated to a 67-month high fueled by a weaker currency, a closely watched survey showed on Wednesday.
The fast expansion was signalled by the final Markit Eurozone Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) Composite Output, which stood at 54.4 in December, up from November's 53.9 and reached to its highest level since May 2011.
The index reading above 50 indicates an expansion, while one below that level points to a contraction.
"Manufacturers and, to a lesser extent, service sector companies are benefitting from the weaker euro, which is both boosting goods exports and encouraging demand for services exports such as tourism and travel to the eurozone," said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit.
According to the survey data, manufacturing led the growth acceleration, with production increasing at the quickest pace since April 2014. Service sector activity also rose solidly, with the rate of increase staying close to November's 11-month high.
The fastest growth was seen in Spain, which was followed closely by Germany. The pace of increase in France accelerated to a one-and-a-half year record, but remained below the euro area average.
However, price pressures continued to mount, with inflation of both input costs and output charges gathering pace.
Williamson said the survey data signalled a 0.4 percent expansion of GDP in the fourth quarter, but added the concern is that domestic demand is likely to remain subdued over the course of 2017 as political uncertainty dominates, resulting in another year of disappointing growth across the region as a whole.