France: Private-sector activity contracts in March
In March, the seasonally-adjusted IHS Markit Flash Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dipped back below the 50.0-point threshold, landing at 48.7 points from 50.4 points a month earlier and signaling a contraction in private-sector activity.
March’s reading reflected falling output across both the manufacturing and services sectors. New orders fell at a faster pace than in February; export orders, meanwhile, slid at the fastest pace in nearly three years. Employment, however, rose marginally. Accordingly, firms’ optimism waned somewhat—but remained above-average.