[BERLIN] Germany's private sector grew at the fastest pace in eight months in November, driven by a surge in new business, a survey showed on Thursday, in a sign Europe's biggest economy is set for solid growth in the fourth quarter.
Markit's final composite Purchasing Managers' Index, which tracks activity in the manufacturing and services sectors that together account for more than two-thirds of the economy, rose to 55.2 in November from 54.2 the previous month.
That was comfortably above the 50 line that separates expansion from contraction for the 31st month in a row and also higher than the flash estimate of 54.9. "This adds to signs that Germany's economy is set to post another quarter of moderate and possibly slightly stronger growth," said Markit economist Oliver Kolodseike.
The sub-index for services surged to a 14-month high, rising to 55.6 in November from 54.5 in October and thereby extending its sequence of growth to two-and-a-half years.
German service providers see clear demand hikes and reported the highest rate of growth in new business since June 2011.
They attributed this upturn to improved liquidity and increased marketing efforts, the survey showed.
Service providers also continued to add to their payroll numbers, and despite a record-low unemployment rate of 6.3 percent, some reported an additional need for staff. "With some companies commenting on staff shortages and capacity issues, the hiring trend should continue in the coming months," Kolodseike said.