Europe’s economy held steady in the early weeks of December as governments eased some restrictions on the services sector and factory output continued to increase, but further setbacks appear likely until the coronavirus pandemic is contained.

However, surveys of purchasing managers published Wednesday also found that businesses were encouraged by the prospect of a widespread deployment of effective vaccines in 2021, and cut jobs at the slowest pace since the pandemic began.

Rising infections have weighed on Europe’s economies since September, with governments having imposed new restrictions since mid-October that effectively closed large parts of the hospitality sector.


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