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The latest flash France PMI data signalled that private sector output stabilised in July. The Markit Flash France Composite Output Index, based on around 85% of normal monthly survey replies, registered 50.0, up from 49.6 in June. Service providers signalled a marginal rise in activity during July, the third increase in the past four months. On the other hand, manufacturing output fell for the fourth consecutive month, although the pace of contraction eased to the slowest in that sequence. Panellists reported generally subdued trends in consumption, in some cases referencing the Nice attack as having further weighed on activity. New business across the French private sector returned to growth in July, albeit marginal overall. Higher intakes of new work were centred on the service sector, where growth quickened since June. Manufacturers in contrast reported that new orders decreased at the sharpest rate in three months. That said, manufacturers' new export orders showed a more encouraging trend, increasing slightly for the first time since December 2015. Anecdotal evidence pointed to a number of new contracts being secured from clients based outside Europe. Employment in the French private sector remained broadly unchanged in July, ending a two-month period of decline. Service providers reported a slight rise in staffing levels, whereas manufacturers signalled a fifth successive decline.
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