France: Composite PMI rises to highest reading in nine months in February
The IHS Markit Flash Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 57.4 in February from 52.7 in January, marking the joint-highest reading in nine months. Thus, the index remained well above the 50-threshold, signaling a strong improvement in business conditions from the previous month.
Record-high activity from the services sector, coupled with a strong performance in the manufacturing sector, were behind February’s result. Firming demand led to expansions in both new orders and output, which in turn resulted in firms increasing their headcounts. On the price front, higher costs for staff, transport and energy resulted in another spike in input cost inflation which in turn prompted firms to increase their selling prices, although at a more modest pace than in the previous month. Lastly, optimism regarding the coming year climbed to the highest level in eight months amid an improving pandemic situation.