France: Flash Composite PMI surges in September
September 22, 2017
The Markit Flash Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) increased from 55.2 points in August to 57.2 points in September, surprising analysts who had expected a drop to 55.1 points. The increase marks the fourteenth consecutive month in which the indicator is above the 50-point threshold that separates expansion from contraction and the best reading since May 2011.
September’s print reflects strong expansions in the manufacturing and services sectors buoyed by higher new orders. Growth among service providers accelerated in September after three consecutive moderations and fell short of reaching May’s almost six-year high. Manufacturing output also grew sharply and reached its highest print since April 2011. Higher demand volume resulted in an accumulation of backlogs of work for the nineteenth consecutive month. The rise in outstanding business comes despite increased staffing in both services and manufacturing. Regarding price developments, average input costs and average output prices rose in the surveyed month.
Commenting on September’s reading, economist Alex Gill at IHS Markit said: “a further positive development was a rise in business confidence to a level well above the long-run series average. Business optimism therefore looks well placed to support private sector growth in the coming months, and help facilitate labor market reforms in bringing down the country’s high unemployment rate.”