France: Private-sector momentum solid in August
In August, the seasonally-adjusted IHS Markit Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 54.9 from 54.4 a month earlier, signaling another solid expansion of business activity across the private sector. Although August’s reading exceeded the series’ long-run average, gains in the services and manufacturing sectors have eased notably since the outset of the year.
August’s reading reflected strong growth in services activity, while manufacturing gains were more subdued. Service providers saw a pick-up in new orders, which supported faster private-sector hiring. Despite this, backlogs of work rose. Rising wage and fuel bills pushed up input costs, although most firms passed these on to customers. Meanwhile, although business confidence was upbeat, it hovered near a two-year low as concerns mounted over a wider economic slowdown.