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German Private Sector Growth At 4-year Low

Germany's private sector expanded at the slowest pace in four years during December amid slower growth in manufacturing and services, survey data from IHS Markit showed on Friday.

The flash Composite Purchasing Managers' Index fell to a 48-month low of 52.2 from 52.3 in November. Economists had expected a score of 52.8.

A PMI reading above 50 suggests growth in the private sector.

The flash factory PMI eased to a 33-month low of 51.5 from 51.8 in November. Economists were looking for a score of 51.7.

The manufacturing output index, meanwhile, climbed to a three-month high of 51.6 from 50.3 in November.

The flash services PMI dropped to a seven-month low of 52.5 from 53.3 in November. Economists had expected a reading of 54.8.

The PMI surveys suggested a near-stalling of order books and a further softening of business confidence towards the outlook, while a further solid round of job creation and subsiding cost pressures were some of the few positive takeaways.

"The PMI data disappointed again in December, indicating the continuation of only a modest rate of underlying growth across Germany's private sector," IHS Markit economist Phil Smith said.

"Furthermore, with new orders close to stalling in December and firms reporting reduced optimism towards the outlook, there's a lack of momentum heading into the New Year."

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