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Germany's manufacturing sector growth slows in April

[BERLIN] Growth in German manufacturing lost some momentum in April but remained in good shape overall, a survey showed on Monday, suggesting it had a slow but steady start.

Markit's purchasing manager's index (PMI) for manufacturing, which accounts for about a fifth of the German economy, slipped to 52.1 from an 11-month high of 52.8 in March.

It was above the 50 line separating growth from contraction for a fifth consecutive month and the final reading topped a preliminary estimate of 51.9. "Germany's manufacturing sector shifted down a gear in April," said Markit economist Oliver Kolodseike.

It was, however, the second-best reading in nine months and Mr Kolodseike said this pointed to "modest growth in the sector".

New orders continued to flow in, albeit at a slower rate than in March, and output growth slowed, but manufacturers stepped up their recruitment of new staff.

While the weaker euro helped some companies to obtain new contracts from abroad by reducing the cost of their goods for customers outside of the euro zone, it also pushed up import costs for the first time in 15 months.

Detailed PMI data are only available under licence from Markit and customers need to apply to Markit for a licence.