France PMI March 2016


France: Composite PMI rebounds in March and returns to expansionary territory

March 22, 2016

The composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), elaborated by Markit, rose notably in March. The indicator jumped from a revised 49.3 (previously reported: 49.8) in February to 51.1 in March. As a result, the indicator crossed the 50-threshold that separates expansion from contraction after falling into contractionary territory last month for the first time in over a year.

March’s result reflected higher output in both manufacturing and services which reversed the declining trend observed in February. New business grew in March and expanded at the fastest pace since November. Employment increased in the surveyed month as well as did outstanding business.

Markit noted that [the] “French private sector economy ended the first quarter on a more positive note, reversing the dip in output seen during February. The latest data showed broad-based output growth across the manufacturing and service sectors, alongside strengthening optimism among service providers. However, there were also pockets of notable weakness, such as manufacturers’ new orders and employment, which both fell. Overall, PMI data suggest a further modest rise in GDP during Q1, doing little to suggest any break from the sluggish growth pattern seen during recent times.”

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see fixed investment growing 1.9% in 2016, which is up 0.1 percentage points over the previous month’s estimate. For 2017, the panel sees investment expanding 2.1%.

Author: Jean-Philippe Pourcelot, Economist

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France PMI Chart

France PMI March 2016

Note: Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI). A reading above 50 indicates an expansion in business activity while a value below 50 points to a contraction.
Source: Markit.

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