France: Composite PMI falls to nine-month low in January, but remains in expansionary terrain
The IHS Markit Flash Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dropped to 52.8 in January from 55.6 in December, marking the lowest print since Aprill 2021. That said, the index remained well above the 50-threshold, signaling another strong improvement in business conditions from the previous month.
Cooling activity in the services sector was largely behind January’s result, as staff shortages amid the spread of the Omicron Covid-19 variant weighed on output. On top of this, the deteriorating health situation hindered client demand, resulting in softer growth in new orders in both sectors. Meanwhile, private sector companies continued to increase their headcounts—albeit at the weakest rate since July—and firms remained optimistic with regard to future activity. On the price front, higher costs for staff, transport and energy resulted in a spike in input cost inflation—the highest reading in over 17 years—which in turn prompted firms to increase their selling prices at the sharpest rate since October 2002.