Private-sector output in the Eurozone continued to expand in December, despite a slight slowdown from the month before.

The Reuters Eurozone Composite Output Index, compiled by NTC Research, stood at 55.8 last month, down from November's three-year high of 56.2 but well above the 50.0 threshold between expansion and contraction. December's results were high enough to suggest that the last three months of 2003 marked the strongest quarter since Q4 2000.

The index of new orders slipped from 56.7 to 56.2; the gauge of input prices edged up from 54.5 to 54.8; and the employment measure dipped from 49.6 to 49.2, marking the twenty-seventh consecutive monthly contraction in the workforce.

The composite figures cover both the factory and service sectors. Growth in the former accelerated last month, with the index of manufacturing activity rising from 52.2 to 52.4. However, the measure of service conditions dipped from 57.5 to 56.6.

Data sourced from: NTC Research; additional content by WARC staff