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German Factory Growth at 15-Month Low in Sign of Uneven Economy

German manufacturing expanded at
the slowest pace in 15 months in September as new orders fell,
signaling uneven momentum in Europe’s largest economy.

Markit Economics said its Purchasing Managers Index fell to
50.3 from 51.4 in August, the weakest since June 2013.
Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News predicted a drop to 51.2.
A gauge of services rose to 55.4 from 54.9, offsetting the drop
in factory output and pushing the composite index up to 54 from
53.7. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

The data add to the uncertainty facing the German economy.
While gross domestic product unexpectedly contracted in the
second quarter, the Bundesbank said yesterday that positive July
data had dispelled fears of an abrupt end to the country’s
upturn. In June, Germany’s central bank predicted growth of 1.9
percent this year and 2 percent in 2015.

“Weak manufacturing data have become one of the most
conspicuous features of the fragility of a broad-based
recovery,” said Oliver Kolodseike, an economist at Markit. The
data “paint a mixed picture of the health of the German economy
at the end of the third quarter.”

A gauge of new orders at factories contracted for the first
time since June 2013, falling to 48.8 from 51.1, the data
showed.

Confidence in Europe’s largest economy has declined in
recent months as tensions with Russia threatened trade and a
slowing recovery in the euro-area dimmed export prospects. The
Munich-based Ifo institute’s business climate index, due for
release tomorrow, will probably show sentiment at companies fell
to the lowest in 16 months in September.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said yesterday
that policy makers can implement more stimulus if required to
stave off the threat of deflation in the euro area.

Risks to growth in the currency bloc “are clearly on the
downside,” Draghi told lawmakers in Brussels. “Recent
indicators gave no indication that the sharp decline” in
economic activity in the region has stopped, he said.

Data earlier today showed a deteriorating outlook in
France, the euro area’s second largest economy. A similar gauge
for the euro area was unchanged at 52.5, economists predicted
before that data is released at 10 a.m.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Alessandro Speciale in Frankfurt at
aspeciale@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Emma Charlton at
echarlton1@bloomberg.net
Craig Stirling

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