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Spain manufacturing sector posts more solid growth in December

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Spain's manufacturing sector expanded at a solid pace in December thanks to strong output and hiring, a survey showed on Tuesday, in the latest sign that economic growth throughout 2017 held steady until the end of the year.

[MADRID] Spain's manufacturing sector expanded at a solid pace in December thanks to strong output and hiring, a survey showed on Tuesday, in the latest sign that economic growth throughout 2017 held steady until the end of the year.

Markit's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) of manufacturing companies stood at 55.8 in December, down from 56.1 in November and compared with a Reuters poll of 56.3. The index has held above the 50 line separating growth from contraction for every month since November 2013.

"Spanish manufacturers ended 2017 on a high, the sector registering further strong improvements in December. Although new order growth eased, firms continued to ramp up production and took on extra staff at a near-record pace, reflecting the success they have had in securing new work over recent months," associate director at IHS Andrew Harker said.

This year has been strong, with the average PMI the best since 2006, Harker said.

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"The sector therefore is in good shape heading into 2018," he added.

The Spanish economy grew 0.8 per cent in the fourth quarter from a quarter earlier, The Bank of Spain said on Dec. 27, pointing to 2017 growth of more than 3 per cent.

REUTERS