LONDON/BEIJING China vast manufacturing sector expanded in December but the eurozone is probably deeper in recession, business surveys suggested on Friday.Data researcher Markit said its Eurozone Flash Composite Purchasing Managers Index, which combines both manufacturing and services sector data, showed small signs of improvement.It rose to a nine month high of 47.3 this month, beating forecasts for 46.8.But this remains below the 50 mark that signifies contraction and Markit said the PMI data for the fourth quarter is consistent with a decline in overall growth of 0.5%.The Chinese economy is already starting to recoverChina data, however, may signal that the global economy is on the mend.improved conditions on financial markets and the pick up in global growth momentum, as signaled by the further pickup in the Chinese PMI, should steady the pace of decline from here on, said Martin van Vliet at ING.China manufacturing sector expanded in December at its fastest pace in 14 months as new orders and employment rose, adding to evidence of a pickup in the economy that helped to boost market sentiment.renewed rise in the headline PMI is a further sign that the Chinese economy is already starting to recover, said Nikolaus Keis at UniCredit.The HSBC flash PMI for December rose to 50.9, the highest level since October 2011 and the fifth straight monthly gain. A figure above 50 indicates that growth is accelerating, while one below 50 shows slowing growth. ET is expected to show manufacturing activity also expanded again this month in the United States, albeit at a slightly weaker pace than in November.RAY OF LIGHTThe eurozone economy contracted 0.2% in the second quarter and 0.1% in the third, meeting the technical definition of a recession and a Reuters poll last week predicted a 0.3% contraction in the current period.That would be slightly better than the PMIs suggest.Earlier, composite PMI data from Germany, Europe largest economy, showed its private sector bounced back to growth for the first time in eight months in December.In neighbouring France, however, while the downturn eased the PMI held below 50 for the 10th straight month.The regional PMI has been below the 50 mark for all but one of the past 16 months but the eurozone agreed a deal on Thursday to provide nearly 50 billion euros in long delayed aid to Athens.It averts a catastrophic default and secures Greece survival in the eurozone after months of doubt and political turmoil.
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