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French manufacturing output grows at fastest pace since May 2011

Staff Writer | January 3, 2017
Business conditions in the French manufacturing sector continued to improve in December. Furthermore, the latest survey data signalled solid and accelerated expansions in output, new orders and employment.
French manufacturing
French economy   Markit France Manufacturing PMI
The rate inflation of manufacturers’ costs was meanwhile the strongest for five-and-a-half years, which in turn led to a second straight monthly rise in selling prices.

The headline Markit France Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) posted 53.5 in December to signal a further improvement in the overall health of the French manufacturing sector. The index figure was up from November’s reading of 51.7 and at a 67-month high.

Underlying the latest improvement was another rise in output, the fourth in as many months. Moreover, the rate of increase was the most marked since May 2011. In line with the trend for output, the amount of new business placed with French manufacturers also increased in December.

Likewise, the rate of expansion was the sharpest in 67 months. Growth was broad-based across both domestic and foreign clients, with December seeing a third successive rise in export orders. In turn, this contributed to another fall in postproduction inventories, despite the solid expansion in output.

Faced with higher production targets, firms looked to enhance their operating capacity in December, which in turn led to the fastest rate of job creation since June 2011.

In spite of this, the amount of unfinished work at French manufacturing companies continued to accumulate. As well as increasing headcounts, firms raised their purchasing activity in December.

Moreover, the rate of expansion was the most marked in over fiveand-a-half years. Concurrently, the level of preproduction inventories was little-changed from the preceding month.