France: Composite PMI rises in November on strong services sector performance
The IHS Markit Flash Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) came in at 56.3 in November up from 54.7 in October, on the back of a sharp improvement in services activity. As a result, the index moved further above the 50-threshold, thus signaling an improvement in business conditions from the previous month.
November’s improvement largely reflected improving output in both manufacturing and services sectors, albeit at a markedly stronger rate in the latter, amid higher demand for services and a reviving tourism sector. On top of this, new export orders picked up pace in both sectors, while firms raised their headcounts in order to meet client demand. That said, persisting supply shortages resulted in another month of increasing backlogs, as well as another spike in input cost inflation. In response, businesses hiked their selling prices at the sharpest rate since May 2011.
Commenting on the uneven performance between the services and manufacturing sectors, Joe Hayes, senior economist at IHS Markit, stressed:
“This puts the wider economic recovery in a precarious position, especially with the raft of new Covid-19 containment measures being implemented across other parts of Europe. While French officials have talked down the prospect of imminent restrictions, the trajectory of the virus in the coming weeks will be a key determinant of near-term economic activity, as any new restrictions are likely to hit the service sector, which at present is giving the economic recovery its principal impetus.”