Data provider Markit said its purchasing managers index for manufacturing--which is based on a survey of 3,000 companies--fell to 53.2 from 54.0 the previous month. A reading above 50 indicates month-to-month expansion in activity.
That was higher than the 53.0 reading released by Markit last month as its preliminary reading, largely reflecting an upward revision in France's PMI to 49.7 from 48.5, bringing the country's measure to a five-month high.
The recovery in manufacturing looks set to continue in coming months, with new orders rising for the eighth straight month, although less rapidly than in January. Manufacturers hired additional workers for the second straight month, but at a pace.
Signs of a continued expansion in manufacturing activity will likely be seen by members of the European Central Bank's governing council as confirmation that the modest economic recovery that began in the second quarter of 2013 is set to continue.
"Policymakers will...be reassured that the trends in manufacturing output and employment are moving in the right direction, and that the recovery is broadening out," said Chris Williamson, Markit's chief economist.
However, the survey of manufacturers also found that inflationary pressures eased in February, with businesses reporting that the prices they paid for raw materials and other inputs fell for the first time in six months, while they increased the prices they charge their customers only marginally, and at the slowest pace since October.
The European Union's statistics office Eurostat said Friday that consumer prices grew 0.8% in February from a year earlier in the euro zone, well below the ECB's target of just below 2%.