BRUSSELS, March 5 -- The euro zone's Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), a leading indicator of growth, rose to 53.3 points in February, a report by survey compiler Markit showed Wednesday.
The figure, higher than the initial flash reading of 52.7 points, is above 50 points for the eighth month, which suggests the fastest growth rate for manufacturing and service sectors over the past 32 months.
Germany, replacing Ireland, leads the PMI output growth table, the report said.
The recovery in Italy also gained traction, with output rising at the steepest clip for almost three years, while France saw output fall at a sharper pace in February, as new orders suffered a further contraction.
"The final PMI indicates that the euro zone economy grew at the fastest rate since June 2011, contrasting with the slowdown signalled by the flash reading," said Chris Williamson, Markit's chief economist.
He also warned of "regional divergences," saying the contrast between Germany and France was the most striking in the history of the PMI surveys, with the exception of early 2013.