Latest data released by Markit/BME - 7 April 2021

  • Composite PMI 57.3 vs 56.8 prelim

The preliminary report can be found here. Some slight upwards revisions but this just reaffirms that the services sector is seeing an uptick for the first time in six months, as recovering confidence helps to bolster activity towards the end of Q1.

That said, with tighter restrictions set to be prolonged into Q2, that may well deter any material improvement moving forward despite optimism keeping rather high. But the more stable economic environment in March is something to be more hopeful about.

Markit notes that:

"March saw tentative signs of an upturn in activity across the German service sector, with some businesses having opened their doors to customers for first time in months as lockdown restrictions were eased. The data also hinted at domestic demand picking up in other areas as confidence improved.

"We're seeing more and more services firms reporting optimism about the outlook for activity, which has been helped by progress in the vaccination programme and is in turn supporting a continued recovery in employment in the sector as companies plan for busier times in the months ahead.

"However, that's where the good news stops, with the survey showing growing cost pressures at services firms due to rising energy and fuel prices. Moreover, efforts to contain a third wave of COVID-19 infections is a risk to the service sector's immediate prospects at the start of the second quarter."