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Global business growth at five-month high in February: PMI

[LONDON] Global business activity picked up at the fastest pace in five months during February as new orders flooded in, even though companies raised prices, a business survey showed on Wednesday.

JPMorgan's Global All-Industry Output Index, produced with Markit, jumped to 53.9 in February from January's 53.0. It has now held above the 50 mark that divides growth from contraction since October 2012.

"The breadth of the expansion is encouraging, with output growth accelerating across both the manufacturing and service sectors," said David Hensley, a director at JPMorgan. "With new order inflows also strengthening, the PMI implies that global GDP is on course to post a mild acceleration over the opening quarter as a whole."

An index measuring prices charged rose to a three-month high of 50.6, but the increases didn't stop the new-orders index from reaching a five-month high of 54.0.

A global PMI covering the service industry rose to a five-month high of 54.0 from January's 53.0. Global manufacturing activity also accelerated in February, a similar survey showed on Monday.

The index combines survey data from countries including the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia.