U.S. Markets

German private sector shrinks in September for first time in over six years: PMI

FILE PHOTO: Employees of German car manufacturer Porsche work on a Porsche 911 at the Porsche factory in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, Germany, February 19, 2019. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - German private sector activity shrank for the first time in 6-1/2 years in September as a manufacturing recession deepened unexpectedly and growth in the service sector lost momentum, a survey showed on Monday.

Markit’s flash composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which tracks the manufacturing and services sectors that together account for more than two-thirds of the economy, fell to 49.1 from 51.7 in the previous month.

It is the first time since April 2013 that the reading fell below the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction. Analysts had expected a dip to 51.4.

“The economy is limping toward the final quarter of the year and, on its current trajectory, might not see any growth before the end of 2019,” Phil Smith from IHS Markit said.

A sub-index measuring the manufacturing sector plunged to 41.4 - the lowest level in more than 10 years.

“The manufacturing numbers are simply awful,” Smith said.

“All the uncertainty around trade wars, the outlook for the car industry and Brexit are paralyzing order books, with September seeing the worst performance from the sector since the depths of the financial crisis in 2009.”

A sub-index gauging services activity fell to 52.5 from 54.8 in the previous month.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Hugh Lawson