Germany's economic downturn deepened in October, the flash S&P Global composite purchasing managers' index showed on Monday as its reading fell to 44.1 from 45.7 in September, the lowest since May 2020, when the country was under a COVID lockdown.

High energy costs were a major factor, especially in manufacturing, where the rate of contraction was at its fastest in two-and-a-half years, though manufacturing was also hit by weaker demand, S&P Global said.

The flash manufacturing PMI fell to 45.7 from 47.8 the month before.

"The flash PMI data show the downturn in German business activity gathering pace at the start of the fourth quarter, adding to the growing signs of an impending recession," said Phil Smith, economics associate director at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Germany's flash services PMI fell to 44.9 from 45.0. (Reporting by Thomas Escritt; editing by John Stonestreet)