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Employment growth in France sharpest in almost ten-and-a-half years

Staff Writer |
According to latest flash data, the resurgence in the French private sector showed no sign of abating at the start of the fourth quarter.

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Indeed, the rate of growth accelerated from September with the IHS Markit Flash France Composite Output Index, which is based on around 85% of usual monthly survey replies, posting 57.5, up from 57.1 in September and a near-six-and-a-half-year high.

Output growth was broad-based across each monitored sub-sector.

Building on a strong performance in September, service sector activity rose to the greatest extent since March 2017.

A similar trend was evident at goods-producers, with manufacturing production quickening to a sixand-a-half year high.

The expansion in private sector activity was underpinned by another rise in new business.

The rate of increase eased fractionally from September’s 76-month high, but remained sharp nonetheless.

Growth in new orders continued to be observed in both the services and manufacturing sectors, with the rate of expansion marginally quicker in the former.

Buoyed by strong client demand, private sector firms continued to take on additional staff members in October, extending the latest period of job creation to 12 months.

Moreover, the rate of growth was the most marked in just shy of ten-anda-half years (May 2007).

The pace of expansion in the services sector overtook that in the manufacturing economy.

Nevertheless, rates of increase accelerated from September and remained marked in each instance.

Despite the rise in headcounts, firms continued to record a monthly rise in business outstanding.

The rate of backlog accumulation was broadly unchanged from the previous month and marked overall.

Backlogs of unfinished work accrued to a greater extent at manufacturers than at their service sector counterparts, perhaps reflective of the sharper expansion in service sector payrolls.

Latest data highlighted a further rise in average input costs faced by firms operating in the French private sector.

Furthermore, the rate of inflation quickened from September and was only fractionally weaker than April’s 70-month high.

The rate of increase accelerated at both manufacturers and service providers, and remained far sharper in the former.

French private sector companies raised their average selling prices for the second successive month in October.

The rate of charge inflation remained far weaker than for input prices, but was the sharpest since March 2012 nonetheless.

Finally, French private sector companies maintained an optimistic outlook towards their prospects for activity growth over the coming 12 month period.

While business confidence improved slightly at manufacturers, it softened to a nine-month low at service providers.


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