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BRUSSELS: The eurozone economic recovery accelerated in April despite coronavirus restrictions as business activity grew at its fastest pace since the summer thanks to a manufacturing boom, a key survey said Friday.

“Eurozone business activity grew at a stronger rate in April, the rate of increase accelerating to the fastest since last July as a record expansion of manufacturing output was accompanied by a return to growth in the service sector for the first time since last August,” economic data group IHS Markit said.

The firm’s PMI index rose to 53.7 points in April from 53.2 in March, remaining above the 50-point level that indicates growth. It marked a second straight month of expansion in business activity after four consecutive months of decline. “In a month during which virus containment measures were tightened in the face of further waves of infections, the eurozone economy showed encouraging strength,” Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at IHS Markit said.

“Although the service sector continued to be hard hit by lockdown measures, it has returned to growth as companies adjust to life with the virus and prepare for better times ahead.”

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