Europe's economy appears to be sprouting more bright green shoots than expected, just as the ECB is about to start up a 1 trillion euro monetary stimulus programme. As Amy Pollock the global picture is equally positive
Another good day for the euro zone. Business activity across the currency bloc picked up at the fastest rate in seven months - with Markit's survey of services and manufacturing 3 points above the 50 level that suggests growth. The French private sector looked especially healthy - jumping 3 points from 49. That's the first sign of growth in the euro zone's second biggest economy for nearly a year. Germany backed up the trend with a four month high. Gemma Godfrey is head of investment strategy at Brooks MacDonald. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF INVESTMENT STRATEGY AT BROOKS MACDONALD, GEMMA GODFREY, SAYING: "Behind the revival of the euro zone is the fact that they are benefiting from cheaper input costs from the falling oil price. They're also doing better because lending is starting to filter through, so they're really the region of the world where you're going to see the greatest acceleration in growth." Consumers are feeling positive too. Retail sales in the euro zone grew quicker than expected in January, helped by Germans splashing out. The signs of growth come as the ECB prepares to start its 1-trillion euro bond buying programme. So does the euro zone still need that QE shot in the arm? (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF INVESTMENT STRATEGY AT BROOKS MACDONALD, GEMMA GODFREY, SAYING: "The biggest impact it has is to sentiment and the reason why that is essential is that if you have a revival in sentiment, then actually you get more investment in the country so if you have those capital flows going into a country it does mean that certain projects come on board and certain jobs get created and that trickles down to the consumer's back pocket." Europe isn't the only region enjoying a revival. Growth in China's service industry also accelerated last month and India saw an eight-month high. It's not just oil prices filtering through - looser monetary policies from central banks and some government measures are all bearing fruit.