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French private sector growth at 6-year high

Staff Writer |
The French private sector grew at the sharpest pace in six years in May, flash survey data from IHS Markit showed.

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The composite output index rose to a 72-month high of 57.6 in May from 56.6 in April. Economists had forecast the score to remain unchanged at 56.6.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector. The indicator signaled eleventh consecutive month of growth.

The service sector saw activity increase for the eleventh time in as many months.

The services Purchasing Managers' Index climbed to 58.0 from 56.7 in previous month.

Meanwhile, the manufacturing PMI declined unexpectedly to 54.0 from 55.1 in April. The reading was forecast to rise marginally to 55.2.

"The numbers continue to paint a positive picture of the French private sector economy," Alex Gill, an economist at IHS Markit said.

"Furthermore, with May's conclusion to the presidential elections, the road looks set fair for future growth. However, eyes will now turn to June's legislative elections as a next potential stumbling block," Gill said.

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