French Manufacturing Stalls in Setback to Stabilization Hopes

(Bloomberg) --

French industry effectively stalled this month and new orders shrank, in a setback for hopes that the euro area’s second-biggest economy will stabilize.

IHS Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index for manufacturing slumped to 50.3 in December from 51.7 the previous month, well below economists’ expectations.

French Manufacturing Stalls in Setback to Stabilization Hopes

“Following some green shoots in October and November, manufacturing production stagnated,” Eliot Kerr, an economist at IHS Markit said. “Moreover, employment and outstanding business stuttered to somewhat quell hopes of sustained industrial recovery.”

A gauge for the services sector improved slightly, largely countering the industrial weakness.

Key Insights

  • Composite PMI index fell to 52.0 from 52.1; services PMI rose to 52.4 from 52.2
  • IHS Markit says data point to fourth-quarter GDP growth of 0.4%
  • Service providers saw the quickest rise in employment since July, while numbers were broadly stable in manufacturing

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