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Financial News: France Private Sector Unexpectedly Shrinks

France Private Sector Unexpectedly Shrinks

05/23/2024 - 04:07:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - France's private sector unexpectedly contracted in May after returning to growth in the previous month, flash survey results from S&P Global showed on Thursday.

The headline HCOB flash composite output index dropped to 49.1 in May from 50.5 in April. The reading was forecast to climb to 51.0.

With the reading falling below the neutral 50.0, the sector moved from expansion to the contraction territory in May. "Although the HCOB Composite Output PMI fell slightly below 50 in May, there is no reason for any major concern," Hamburg Commercial Bank economist Norman Liebke said. "Our HCOB Nowcast expects 0.3% economic growth for the second quarter," said Liebke.

"While this is strong compared to the last few quarters, it is still slightly below the previous estimate due to the worse than-expected HCOB PMI figures, down from 0.4%," Liebke added.

The reduction in overall activity was broad-based by sector, although it was primarily a fresh downturn in services activity that pulled the headline index back below the critical 50.0 threshold.

The services Purchasing Managers' Index posted 49.4 in May, down from 51.3 in April and economists' forecast of 51.8.

Meanwhile, the manufacturing PMI rose to a three-month high of 46.7 from 45.3 in the previous month. The reading was also above forecast of 45.8.

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