French private sector output rises marginally at start of 2016Staff writer ▼ | January 25, 2016
The latest flash France PMI data pointed to a slight increase in private sector output during January.
France Markit Flash France PMI
Growth of activity was centred on the service sector, which saw a return to marginal expansion following a fractional dip in the closing month of 2015. Manufacturers signalled unchanged output during the latest survey period, ending a four-month period of expansion.
Anecdotal evidence suggested that a number of firms had started work on new projects, although market conditions remained generally subdued. New business in the French private sector increased for a fifth consecutive month in January. However, the rate of growth remained marginal overall.
While service providers reported rising intakes of new work, manufacturers signalled a decline for the first time in four months. New export orders received by manufacturers fell for the second time in the past three months, albeit modestly. Employment in the French private sector increased in January, following no change in the previous month.
It was the first rise in staffing levels since June 2015. Service providers indicated a slight expansion of employment, whereas manufacturers reported no change. January data signalled a rise in outstanding business in the French private sector for the fourteenth successive month.
Although moderate, the rate of growth was the sharpest since October 2015. Both manufacturers and service providers reported higher backlogs. Input prices facing French private sector companies remained unchanged in January. This followed an 11-month sequence of increases.
Manufacturers reported the fastest drop in input prices for three months, reflecting lower prices for key commodities such as oil and steel. Service providers’ costs rose at the slowest pace since August 2015 and marginally overall. ■