France Private Sector Expansion At Lowest In 4 Months

(RTTNews) - France private sector expansion eased to the lowest level in four months in September, the flash survey data from IHS Markit showed on Monday.

The composite output index fell to 51.3 in September from 52.9 in August. Economists had forecast a score of 52.6.

Any reading above 50 indicates an expansion in the sector.

New orders expanded at the softest pace in four months in September, while the new export orders declined for the first time since May. Foreign demand for services dropped for the first time in four months.

The employment level increased in September, which led to the current sequence of expansion to three years. However, the rate of job creation was the weakest since April. Backlogs of work rose as the capacity pressure at private sector increased for fifth time.

On the price front, the cost burden rose in September and inflation slowed for two years, while output prices remained unchanged.

Private sector firms remained confident towards the one-year business outlook in September. The degree of positivity was slightly stronger than the historical average, the survey reported.

The services purchasing managers' index, or PMI, fell to a four-month low of 51.6 in September from 53.4 in the preceding month. Economists had forecast a score of 53.2.

The manufacturing PMI, decreased to 50.3 in September from 51.1 in previous month. Economists had expected a score of 51.2.

"The disparity between France's manufacturing and service sectors persisted in September, as service providers continued to record activity expansion, while there was a renewed contraction in manufacturing output," Eliot Kerr, economist at IHS Markit, said.
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