First, the good: the composite PMI rose 0.5pt to 51.4, beating expectations of another decline, and led by modest gains in the manufacturing output subcomponent even as the services PMI showed a marginal decline.
However, the underlying indices were more subdued, with new orders and employment falling more. The press release also noted a sharp fall in business expectations in the services sector. Backlogs of work across both sectors fell for a 10th month and the pace of hiring slowed, with employment in manufacturing declining at the fastest pace in seven years.
Perhaps more concerning was the outlook, which is now outright recessionary as for the first time since 2014, more companies now expect output to fall than rise over the next 12 months.
The problem for Germany is that with its manufacturing sector contracting at a dismal rate, Europe's most powerful economy has no buffer left - as a reminder, last week we learned that the economy shrank in the second quarter and real-time sentiment indicators confirm that another contraction in Q3 is virtually inevitable, guaranteeing a technical recession.