September 5, 2017 / 8:02 AM / in 3 months

Strong activity in German services pushes up inflation: PMI

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s services enjoyed vibrant activity in August, pushing up price pressures in the sector and boosting overall private sector growth, a survey showed on Tuesday, suggesting that a solid upswing in Europe’s biggest economy is set to continue.

FILE PHOTO: The skyline with its characteristic banking towers is pictured during sun down after a sunny spring day in Frankfurt, Germany, April 9, 2017. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo

Markit’s final composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which tracks the manufacturing and services sectors that account for more than two-thirds of the economy, rose to 55.8 from its ten-month low of 54.7 in July.

The reading was well above the 50 line that separates growth from contraction and came in slightly better than a preliminary estimate of 55.7 which was published last month.

The main support came from manufacturing where growth accelerated at the fastest pace since April, propelled by a sharp rise in output, new orders and export business.

In the services sector, business activity increased to reach a two-month high of 53.5 in August, with orders coming in at a faster pace. Service providers continued to hire new staff, though job creation slowed to reach its slowest pace in more than a year.

In a sign that the upswing is pushing up inflation, cost pressures faced by German service providers increased.

The rate of input price inflation picked up to reach a five-month high while prices charged by service providers accelerated at the fastest pace since March.

IHS Markit economist Trevor Balchin said that the survey data underlined the German economy’s continued strength.

IHS Markit had therefore raised its growth forecasts for 2017 and 2018 to 2.3 percent and 2.1 percent respectively.

The government predicts calendar-adjusted growth of 1.9 percent for 2017. That would be on a par with last year’s performance, which was the strongest among the G7 group of the world’s most industrialized countries.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Toby Chopra

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