March 5, 2018 / 9:02 AM / in 4 months

German private-sector expansion slows in February but quarter one looks robust: PMI

BERLIN, (Reuters) - Growth in Germany’s private sector slowed in February from a month earlier but is still on track for solid expansion in the first quarter, a survey showed on Monday.

The famous skyline with its banking district is pictured in early evening next to the Main River in Frankfurt, Germany, January 19, 2016. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Markit’s final composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which tracks the activity in manufacturing and services that together account for more than two-thirds of the economy, eased to 57.6 in February from 59.0 in January, reaching a three-month low.

The reading compared with the flash composite reading of 57.4.

Service providers took their most optimistic view of the outlook for business activity in seven years.

A sub-index monitoring the services sector fell to 55.3 in February, also hitting a three-month low.

Markit economist Phil Smith said two first two months of 2018, taken together, had seen a faster average rate of private- sector growth than the final quarter of 2017.

“Although Germany’s Composite PMI pulled back from January’s near seven-year high, the private sector remains on course for another robust expansion in the first quarter of 2018,” he said.

Writing by Paul Carrel, editing by Larry King

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