BERLIN (Reuters) – Business activity in Germany’s private sector contracted in August at the fastest pace in more than three years, preliminary results from HCOB surveys of purchasing managers showed on Wednesday.

The “flash” composite PMI fell to 44.7 from 48.5 in July, the lowest since May 2020 and well below consensus at 48.3.

The bar of 50 separates growth and decline in activity.

“Any hope that the service sector could save the German economy has faded,” observes Cyrus de la Rubia, economist at Hamburg Commercial Bank.

“Instead, the services sector is on the verge of joining the manufacturing industry recession, which seems to have started in the second quarter.”

Activity in the services sector contracted for the first time in eight months. Its “flash” PMI index came out at 47.3 from 52.3 in July, a nine-month low.

The “flash” PMI for the manufacturing sector rose to 39.1 in August from 38.8 in July.

(Report Maria Martinez, Blandine Hénault for the , edited by Kate Entringer)

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