An index measuring manufacturing and services output in the Eurozone has hit a record high since 2011.

The latest Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 53.2 from 52.1 in December. A figure above 50 indicates expansion.

The rise has been explained by a continuous growth in the German economy, coupled by a slowing down of decline in France.

Modest growth remains consistent across the bloc. Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said:

“With producers reporting further growth of new orders, exports and backlogs of work, the stage is set for a good start to 2014, during which it seems likely that the manufacturing sector will help drive a meaningful, albeit still modest, recovery in the wider economy.”

Recovery in the Eurozone could have a positive impact on growth in the UK economy. In a  2012 article for The Telegraph, Chancellor George Osbourne said:

“A resolution of the Eurozone crisis would do more than anything else to give our economy a boost.”

But despite these promising figures, unsustainable levels of unemployment persist, with over a quarter of the working population jobless in Spain and Greece.

This has led some critics to say that austerity policies are not working, making a meaningful long-term recovery extremely difficult.