France: Private sector activity contracts at faster rate in January
The seasonally-adjusted IHS Markit Flash Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dropped to 47.0 in January from December 2020’s 49.5. As such, the index remained entrenched below the 50-threshold that separates contraction from expansion in business conditions.
January’s reading largely reflected the tightening of Covid-19-related restrictions. The decline in the services sector steepened compared to December, while manufacturing production logged a fresh contraction after expanding in the previous month. Moreover, new orders fell in the month amid subdued demand conditions. Despite this, firms raised employment in the first month of 2021. On the price front, input costs rose at the quickest pace in a year amid higher raw material prices, while output charges fell for the fifth month straight. Lastly, businesses remained optimistic over the outlook for the coming year in January, reflecting hopes of a rebound in demand as coronavirus containment measures are scaled back.