Euro zone economy picks up, but price fears mount

Euro zone businesses are getting unexpectedly busy.

Figures out Tuesday (November 23) showed firms shrugging off health worries.

The flash composite Purchasing Managers' Index - a closely watched guide to economic health - jumped to 55.8 in November.

That's above all forecasts in a Reuters poll, and well above the 50-point line that divides growth and contraction.

Subindexes for the services and factory sectors also gained.

Surging prices are the big worry though.

Supply bottlenecks and labor shortages have made it a sellers' market for raw materials.

That saw the input prices index surge to 75.9 - by far the highest figure since the survey began in 1998.

The output prices index also hit a record, indicating that makers are passing on their higher costs to customers.

It all adds to doubts over the European Central Bank's claim that rising inflation is a passing phase.

Survey compiler IHS Markit says upward pressure on prices is fiercer than it's ever previously recorded.

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