A boom in German exports drove European manufacturing in December, data released by London-based Markit Economics showed on Monday.

The Manufacturing Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI), which measures the activity level of purchasing managers in the manufacturing sector, rose to 57.1 from 55.3 the previous month, showing renewed strength in the manufacturing and production sectors in the Eurozone area.

“Germany remained the star performer, seeing near-record growth, followed by France, where the PMI slipped only slightly from November’s 10-year peak,” Markit chief economist Chris Williamson said. However, welcome signs of recoveries were also evident in the periphery, where export sales helped boost output growth in all cases except Greece, where the rate of decline at least moderated.

Manufacturing output index rose to a five-month high of 58.4 in December while new orders also recorded gains in December.