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Financial News: Germany's Private Sector Expands At Slower Pace

Germany's Private Sector Expands At Slower Pace

03/22/2018 - 06:33:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Germany's private sector expanded at a slower pace in March, flash data from IHS Markit showed Thursday.

The composite output index fell to an eight-month low of 55.4 from 57.6 in February. The reading was also below the forecast of 57.0.

Although remaining solid overall, growth has now softened in each of the past two months after having reached a near seven-year high in January. Nonetheless, a reading above 50 indicates expansion.

The services Purchasing Managers' Index came in at 54.2 in March versus 55.3 in February and below the forecast of 55.0.

The factory PMI dropped to 58.4 from 60.6 in the previous month. The expected score was 59.8.

"With the strong expansions seen at the end of last year and in the opening months of 2018 already baked in, official numbers are expected to show robust GDP growth in the opening quarter," Phil Smith, principal economist at IHS Markit said.

"Latest IHS Markit forecasts show growth picking up from the somewhat disappointing 0.6 percent seen in the fourth quarter of 2017," the economist added.

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