France: Flash Composite PMI builds on gains and reaches almost six-year high in February
February 21, 2017
The Markit Flash Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) jumped from a revised 54.1 (previously reported: 53.8) in January to 56.2 in February, overshooting market analysts’ expectations of a softer increase to 53.7. The result, which marks the highest reading since May 2011, has moved the indicator further above the 50-threshold that separates expansion from contraction.
February’s print reflects an expansion in the services and manufacturing sector. Output in the services sector expanded for the eighth consecutive month and output growth accelerated markedly to a five-and-a-half year high. Manufacturing in output also expanded robustly though at a softer pace. Client demand increased in both sectors and services reported the fastest growth rate. In turn, higher staffing was reflected in both sectors to accommodate increased demand. Survey respondents were more optimistic in their assessment of business activity over the next 12 months and confidence strengthened to a multi-year high. Regarding price developments, input costs rose while output prices dropped owing to strong competitive pressures.