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Growth

April PMI index points to German economy losing steam

A closely watched survey of purchasing managers in Germany has suggested Europe's biggest economy faces a downturn in the second quarter of 2013. It seems robust Germany will eventually succumb to the eurozone crisis.

Germany's Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 48.8 points in April from 50.6 points in the month before, marking the first decline in five months, according to data released by London-based Markit economic research group Tuesday.

The group's composite flash PMI index, which was compiled from the responses of about 1,000 German firms, dropped surprizingly below the 50-point mark, which separates economic growth from contraction.

The data would suggest that the recovery in the German economy may turn out to be only short-lived, said Markit Chief Economist Tim Moore.

In the first three months of 2013, Germany was expected to rebound after a quarter of contraction which saw economic output slump by 0.6 percent at the end of last year. However, a slump in new orders in March for both the manufacturing and services sectors seems to signal a return of economic cooling.

In recent months, Germany's export-driven economy fared better than those of its eurozone partners. But Europe's biggest economy now seems to be increasingly impacted by the crisis in the 17-nation currency area.

April's PMI reading for the eurozone in general remained stuck at 46.5 points - an indication that the deep recession there is far from easing.

uhe/ipj (Reuters, dpa)

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