The Flash PMI Composite Output index climbed to 53.2 -- a level not seen since June 2011 -- from December’s 52.1 reading, a release from Markit showed Thursday.

The PMI reading for the services sector in the euro zone stood at 51.9, a four-month high, and compared to 51.0 in December while the flash manufacturing PMI rose to a 32-month high of 53.9 in January, compared to 52.7 in the previous month.

“The eurozone’s recovery gained further momentum in January. The upturn in the PMI puts the region on course for a 0.4-0.5% expansion of GDP in the first quarter,” Chris Williamson, Markit’s chief economist, said in a statement.

Growth in Germany picked up and the rest of the region also saw a strengthening upturn, while the rate of decline eased in France, the Markit release noted. But, employment has not grown since December 2011, and demand has declined continuously for the past two-and-a-half years, leading to a note of caution from Willamson.

“However, while gathering pace, the upturn remains fragile,” he said, adding: “The growth disparities are also a persistent concern. We are seeing growth being led by Germany, especially its surging manufacturing sector, while France looks likely to act as a drag on the eurozone recovery for some time.”