Euro-Area Services Growth Slows Less Than Estimated on Germany

Euro-area services growth slowed less than initially estimated in November, as German output increased to a 10-month high, outweighing declines in France and Italy.

An index based on a survey of purchasing managers in the services industry dipped to 51.2 from 51.6 in October, London-based Markit Economics said today. That’s above Markit’s initial estimate of 50.9 published on Nov. 21. The gauge has been above 50, indicating expansion, for four months.

“The euro area’s recovery lost some momentum in November,” Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said in today’s report. “While we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that the region is growing again, in marked contrast to the decline seen earlier in the year, it’s clearly a concern that the rate of growth remains so fragile.”

The European Central Bank cut its main refinancing rate to a record-low 0.25 percent last month, based in part on its forecast for “continued, albeit modest, growth in the second half of the year.” The ECB predicts the euro-area economy will contract 0.4 percent this year before growing 1 percent in 2014. It will release new forecasts tomorrow.

German services activity rose to a 10-month high of 55.7 in November, Markit said today in a separate report. The French services gauge fell to a five-month low of 48 from 50.9 in October, while the Italian index plunged to 47.2 from 50.5.

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