Investing.com - German manufacturing activity contracted at the fastest pace in over four years in January, according to survey data released on Thursday, underlining worries that the euro zone's largest economy may be losing steam.
Markit said that its Flash German manufacturing PMI slumped to 49.9, the lowest in 50 months, from a final reading of 51.5 in December. Analysts had expected the index to slip to 51.4.
The services PMI improved to 53.1 this month, up from 51.8. That was above expectations for a reading of 52.2.
The Composite Output Index, which measures the combined output of both the manufacturing and service sectors, rose to 52.1 this month from 51.6 in December. Economists had forecast a reading of 51.9.
On the index, a reading above 50.0 indicates industry expansion, below indicates contraction.
Commenting on the report, Phil Smith, Principal Economist at Markit, said, “Manufacturing fell into contraction in January as the sector’s order book situation continued to worsen, showing the steepest decline in incoming new work since 2012."
"Weakness in the auto industry was once again widely reported, as was a slowdown in demand from China," he added.
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