French Economic Growth Slips to 21-Month Low in Broad Slowdown

(Bloomberg) -- France’s economic rebound lost strength this month as a slump in the automotive industry pushed private sector activity to the weakest since December 2016.

IHS Markit’s composite index of manufacturing and services fell to 53.6 this month from 54.9 in August, the firm said Friday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast a reading of 54.6.

French Economic Growth Slips to 21-Month Low in Broad Slowdown

The French economy this year has struggled to keep up the brisk pace it set in 2017. Growth cooled in the first half and trade tensions and consumer surveys are raising uncertainty over the improvement economists expect in the second half.

The PMI report showed both services and manufacturing slowed, with the factory output at a two-year low and only barely expanding. Firms in that industry reported a contraction in new orders and “frequently” cited a reduction in demand from the automotive sector, Markit said.

Markit’s composite PMI for Germany, due to be published later on Friday, is forecast by economists to drop to 55.4 from 55.6. A gauge for the euro area is seen holding at 54.5.

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