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German manufacturing growth surges

dpa logodpa 3/04/2017

IHS Markit said its closely watched Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for the German manufacturing industry has climbed for the fourth consecutive month.

Germany's key manufacturing sector grew at its fastest pace in nearly six years in March adding to the optimistic outlook for Europe's biggest economy.

The London-based IHS Markit said its closely watched Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for the German manufacturing industry climbed for the fourth consecutive month from 56.8 in February to 58.3 points in March, which was its highest reading in 71 months.

"German manufacturing ended the first quarter with impressive growth, with new export orders in particular increasing at the fastest rate in nearly seven years in March," Markit economist Trevor Balchin said.

"Moreover, manufacturers remain upbeat regarding the 12-month outlook for production," he said.

Based on a survey of about 400 manufacturing companies, the March reading left the monthly PMI reading well above the 50 level that marks out growth from contraction.

Markit said the rise in March followed a surge in new industrial orders, while employment in the manufacturing sector hit a 68-month high.

However, Balchin warned about the risks facing the sector as a result of a pickup in inflation.

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