Services drive acceleration in German business activity in April

Services drive acceleration in German business activity in April

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Workers assemble a camper at the Knaus-Tabbert AG factory in Jandelsbrunn near Passau, Germany, March 16, 2021. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

BERLIN (Reuters) – German business activity expanded for a third month running in April, boosted by a services sector revival that more than offset a manufacturing decline in Europe’s largest economy, a preliminary survey showed on Friday.

The HCOB German Flash Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), compiled by S&P Global (NYSE:), rose to a 12-month high of 53.9 in April from 52.6 in March, surpassing analysts’ expectations for a reading of 52.7.

April was the third month in a row that the indicator was above the 50 level that marks growth in activity, after seven consecutive months below the threshold.

The index tracks the services and manufacturing sectors which together account for more than two-thirds of Germany’s economy.

The services sector posted growth for the fourth month running supported by rising demand, with the services PMI reading rising to 55.7 in April from 53.7 in March.

“In the services sector, firms’ ability to push through higher prices has softened slightly, whilst they continue to face strong input cost increases,” said Cyrus de la Rubia, chief economist at Hamburg Commercial Bank.

The manufacturing PMI, on the other hand, fell to 44.0 in April from 44.7 in March, and remained in contraction territory for a 10th month running.

The economist said the labour market will remain tight in Germany. “This is good news both for the people and from a broader economic perspective,” de la Rubia said.

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