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The upturn in Germany's service sector slowed further during September, with output and new business rising only slightly. The rate of employment growth remained solid by historical standards, but was nonetheless the weakest since April. Despite this, companies were able to further work through their backlogs. Moreover, despite subdued demand, service providers raised their charges to the greatest extent since February, partly as a result of rising input costs. Meanwhile, the degree of optimism towards activity growth improved.
September data signalled a further slowdown in activity growth at German service providers, with the final seasonally adjusted Markit Germany Services PMI Business Activity Index falling from August's 51.7 to a 39-month low of 50.9. Moreover, the average PMI reading for the quarter as a whole was the worst in over three years.
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