Figures published on Monday by Markit, a financial information services company, has confirmed a trend already observed over previous months. In November, Germany’s manufacturing sector shrunk further, its Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) remaining under the critical 50 mark required to expand. In the euro zone generally, the situation looked no brighter, and the sector kept shrinking for the 16th consecutive month.
The publication of these data was little reported in Germany, with most media focusing their attention on Tuesday’s CDU party conference. An article in the Zeit newspaper did, however, put these numbers in context by stressing the divide between Germany and other Western countries on this front: Germany, it is argued, has remained innovative and competitive by retaining both the conception and manufacture of products at home, where other developed states have overwhelmingly focused on the former, leading to widespread de-industrialisation.