Accelerating growth, alongside increasing price pressures, will be welcomed by policymakers at the ECB who last month took a step towards weaning the euro zone off loose money.

“We’ve been of the view that the PMIs have been in quite hawkish territory for some time now. If you continue to get numbers this strong there will be increasing talk that the ECB has been behind the curve,” Williamson said.

A PMI covering the bloc’s dominant service industry also beat all expectations in a Reuters poll, rising from October’s 55.0 to a six-month high of 56.2 and comfortably above the median forecast for a very modest increase to 55.1.

Implying a busy end to the year, service firms built up backlogs of work at the fastest rate since May 2011, with the sub-index up from 52.9 to 53.3, pushing them to increase headcount at the fastest rate in almost 10 years.

Manufacturers also had a much better month than anyone polled expected. Their PMI climbed to 60.0 from 58.5, the second-highest reading since the index was first collected in June 1997 and only surpassed in April 2000.

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