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Further strong growth in French service sector signalled

Staff Writer |
Service sector companies in France recorded a further rise in business activity during April.

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The rate of growth eased marginally from last month’s near six-year high but remained sharp overall.

Strong growth continued to be driven by a marked expansion in new orders, which contributed to another round of job creation.

Despite this, the level of unfinished work accumulated at the fastest pace in almost six years.

Meanwhile, French service providers continued to cut their average selling prices, despite a further increase in average cost burdens.

Firms maintained an optimistic outlook, with confidence the highest in six years.

The headline seasonally adjusted Business Activity Index posted 56.7 in April.

Down from 57.5 in March, the latest index reading pointed to a marginally weaker, yet still strong, rise in output.

The Post & Telecommunications sub-sector maintained its position as the best performing.

The final seasonally adjusted Markit France Composite Output Index – which covers the combined manufacturing and service sectors – posted 56.6 in April.

Down fractionally from 56.8 in March, the rate of growth remained marked overall.

Supporting the rise in service sector activity was a fourteenth successive monthly increase in new order intakes.

A number of firms attributed the expansion to a general improvement in underlying demand conditions.

Despite softening from the prior month, the rate of growth remained steep overall.

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