January 4, 2018 / 9:13 AM / 4 months ago

German services growth strengthens in December - Markit

(Reuters) - Growth in Germany’s services accelerated at the fastest pace in two years in December, a survey showed on Thursday, suggesting Europe’s largest economy ended 2017 on a highly positive note.

FILE PHOTO: The LP12 Mall of Berlin shopping mall is pictured with Christmas decorations in Berlin, Germany, December 1, 2017. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch/File Photo

Markit’s final services index rose to 55.8 from 54.3 in November, helped by a sharper increase in new business in all sections of the sector.

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, rose

to 58.9 from 57.3 in November to reach an 80-month high.

The flash composite reading was 58.7.

Markit’s final PMI for manufacturing showed on Tuesday that factory growth jumped to an all-time high of 63.3 in December from 62.5 in November.

“2017 was a year to remember for the German economy, and it’s encouraging to see that it ended on a high for the service sector as well as manufacturing,” said Phil Smith, principal

economist at IHS Markit.

“The upturn in growth in the more locally focused service sector in December provides evidence of stronger domestic demand helping accelerate the pace of economic expansion,” he said,

adding that the survey pointed to growth of at least 0.9 percent in the fourth quarter.

Reporting by Joseph Nasr, editing by Larry King

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