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Germany's Private Sector Expands In August

Germany's private sector continued to underperform in August as growth in services activity was countered by a marked contraction in manufacturing, flash survey data from IHS Markit showed Thursday.

The flash composite output index rose to 51.4 in August from 50.9 in July. The reading signaled one of the weakest performances over the past six years. Economists had forecast to index to drop to 50.6.

The services Purchasing Managers' Index fell to a seven-month low of 54.4 from 54.5 in July. The score was forecast to fall to 54.0.

The factory PMI advanced unexpectedly to 43.6 in August from 43.2 in the previous month. The reading was expected to fall to 43.0.

Germany remains a two-speed economy, with ongoing growth of services just about compensating for the sustained weakness in manufacturing, Phil Smith, principal economist at IHS Markit said.

"Although improving slightly, the survey's output data haven't changed enough to dispel the threat of another slight contraction in GDP in the third quarter, especially given the deterioration in the forward-looking indicators," Smith added.

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