France: Private-sector activity deteriorates 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 48.9 points from 50.4 points a month earlier and signaling a deterioration in private-sector activity.
March’s reading reflected a drop in output across both the manufacturing and services sectors. New business creation decreased for a fourth consecutive month in March. Overall sales, meanwhile, slid owing to the sharpest decline in exports in almost three years. In addition, falling new orders allowed firms to reduce backlogs of work at the fastest rate in nearly six years. Lastly, firms’ optimism remained broadly unchanged from February.