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Financial News: French Private Sector Growth Strongest In 69 Months

French Private Sector Growth Strongest In 69 Months

02/21/2017 - 03:19:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - France's private sector expanded at the sharpest pace in nearly six years in February, driven by roust growth in services activity, flash data from IHS Markit showed Tuesday.

The flash composite output index climbed to a 69-month high of 56.2 in February from 54.1 in January. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

The services activity index rose to 56.7 in February from 54.1 in the prior month. Moreover, this was highest reading in five-and-a-half years. In contrast, economists had expected the index to fall to 53.9.

At the same time, manufacturing growth remained unchanged in February. The manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index held steady at 53.8, while it was forecast to drop slightly to 53.5.

"Service providers remained the driver of overall growth, as evidenced by further sharp rises in new orders and employment, the sharpest in five-and-a-half years in each case," Alex Gill, Economist at IHS Markit said.

"The picture was also positive for manufacturers, albeit slightly less rosy. Rates of increase in client demand and staffing numbers eased from January as the sector continues to be weighed down by marked cost pressures."

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