|Composite - Level||51.3||50.2||51.5|
|Services - Level||51.8||50.6||52.0|
French private sector activity in August expanded at a significantly slower pace than indicated in the flash report according to the final PMI data for the month. At just 50.2, a 7-month low, the key composite output index was revised down an unusually large 1.1 points versus its preliminary reading to stand 1.3 points below its final July mark and close enough to 50 to signal a period of virtual stagnation in economic activity.
The flash service sector PMI was reduced by 1.2 points to 50.6, also a 7-month trough. As previously indicated, what growth there was reflected stronger new orders and rising backlogs although the growth rate of both hit multi-month lows. Certainly firms were not confident enough to add to headcount although, rather surprisingly, business expectations still climbed to their highest level since March 2012.
Meantime, another increase in input costs saw margins squeezed still further as service provider charges continued to fall.
The final PMI figures suggest that the French economy was really struggling last month. Total output was only flat in the April-June period and the survey data so far suggest little better this quarter.
The Composite PMI is produced by Markit and is based on original survey data collected from a representative panel of over 700 companies based in the French private sector economy. The final France Composite PMI follows on from the flash estimate which is released a week earlier and is typically based on at least 75 percent of total PMI survey responses each month.
The Services PMI is produced by Markit and is based on original survey data collected from a representative panel of over 300 companies based in the French service sector. The final France Services PMI follows on from the flash estimate which is released a week earlier and is typically based on at least 75 percent of total PMI survey responses each month.
Investors need to keep their fingers on the pulse of the economy because it dictates how various types of investments will perform. By tracking economic data such as the purchasing managers' manufacturing indexes, investors will know what the economic backdrop is for the various markets. The stock market likes to see healthy economic growth because that translates to higher corporate profits. The bond market prefers less rapid growth and is extremely sensitive to whether the economy is growing too quickly and causing potential inflationary pressures.
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