Germany's manufacturing sector ended the year 2019 deep in contraction, reflecting marked decreases in output and employment, survey data from IHS Markit showed Thursday.
The headline IHS Markit/BME manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 43.7 in December from a five-month high of 44.1 in November. The flash reading was 43.4.
The latest reading was below the average since the current period of contraction began last January.
New business at German manufacturers decreased for the fifteenth month in a row. December's decrease in new orders was the slowest in the whole of 2019 and manufacturers' output expectations showed a further improvement.
Businesses reduced their production linked to lower volumes of work. Manufacturers maintained a preference for lower workforce numbers.
"Falling goods production across the fourth quarter of the year bodes ill for final growth figures, while sustained cuts to workforce numbers at factories continue to pose a threat to Germany's so-far solid consumer spending," Phil Smith, principal economist at IHS Markit, said.