French private sector output growth quickens to seven-month high
That said, the rate of expansion was modest overall. The Markit Flash France Composite Output Index, based on around 85% of normal monthly survey replies, posted 51.1, up from 50.2 in April.
Contrasting trends were again seen in the services and manufacturing sectors. Activity growth in the former quickened to the strongest in seven months, whereas output in the latter declined for the second month running and at the sharpest pace in just over a year.
New business received by private sector firms in France increased for a second successive month in May. Moreover, the rate of growth quickened slightly, reaching a six-month high.
Service providers recorded a further rise in new work, albeit slightly slower than seen in April. Manufacturers continued to report falling new orders, although the rate of decline eased from the 14-month record seen in April. Manufacturers’ new export orders decreased at a slower pace than in the previous month.
French private sector firms indicated another marginal rise in employment during May – the second in as many months.
Job creation was centred on the service sector, where the latest increase in headcounts was the fastest in 11 months (albeit marginal overall). Manufacturers however signalled a further drop in staffing levels, with the pace of contraction unchanged since April. ■