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21.02.2019 16:26

France private sector output stabilises in February

According to the report from IHS Markit, Flash France Composite Output Index rose from 48.2 in January to 49.9 in February, pointing to a broad stabilisation in output after successive contractions in December and January. Flash Services Activity Index rose to 49.8 in February from 47.8 in January, reaching 3-month high.

At the sector level, service providers reported only a fractional decline in business activity and their slowest in three months of contraction. Some panellists that recorded a fall in activity cited ongoing disruption caused by the ‘gilets jaunes’ protests. Meanwhile, manufacturers saw production broadly stabilise in February. Growing order books for some survey respondents counterbalanced the negative impact of the ‘gilets jaunes’ at others. The rate of new order decline at French private sector firms eased in February. Although new business contracted for the third month in a row, the reduction was only marginal overall. The result was driven by a softer fall in the services sector and a first rise in orders for four months at manufacturers. Meanwhile, private sector firms increased their staff numbers at a quicker pace in February. This was underpinned by a faster rate of job creation at service providers, while manufacturers posted another modest workforce expansion.


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