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Germany's private sector expands at moderate pace in July: PMI

[BERLIN] Business activity in Germany's private sector continued to grow in July as new orders flowed in faster, a survey showed on Wednesday, in a sign that Europe's largest economy is in good shape at the start of the third 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, held steady at 53.7 in July.

That marked the 27th straight month that the composite index was above the 50 mark separating expansion from contraction. It was also slightly above a flash estimate for 53.4. "The latest set of PMI results suggest that Germany's private sector continued to grow at a solid pace heading into the second semester of 2015," said Oliver Kolodseike, economist at Markit.

A sub-index showed the services sector grew for a 26th month running, with the rate of expansion unchanged from June at 53.8.

Bright spots included new business piling in more quickly than in June as companies attracted new clients and made successful acquisitions. Service providers also took on more staff.

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But business expectations in the sector were at their weakest since December, although they remained high overall. Some companies expressed concern about strong competition and higher costs; others were upbeat thanks to strong consumer morale, expansion plans and new sales staff.

In an attempt to counter increasing expenses resulting partly from exchange rate effects and higher staff costs, some services raised their prices. The rise in tariffs was not as steep as in June and did not keep pace with a sharper climb in input prices.


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