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The latest flash France PMI® data signalled that private sector output rose at the strongest rate in 15 months during September. The Markit Flash France Composite Output Index, based on around 85% of normal monthly survey replies, registered 53.3, up from 51.9 in the preceding survey period.
The latest reading was the jointhighest since August 2011. Driving the pick-up in growth was a faster expansion of service sector activity, which increased at the sharpest rate since June 2015. Manufacturing output on the other hand remained unchanged since August.
New business received by French private sector firms increased for a third successive month in September. The rate of growth was solid, having accelerated to a 15-month high. Whereas service providers reported a faster rise in new business, manufacturers noted a further decline (albeit the slowest in the current nine-month period of contraction). Manufacturers' new export orders fell for the second month running, albeit marginally.
Employment across the French private sector rose for the second time in the past three months during September. That said, the rate of job creation was marginal overall. Staffing levels increased in the service sector, but were cut further by manufacturers. Outstanding business in the French private sector rose for a seventh consecutive month in September. Moreover, the rate of growth quickened to a 15-month high. Faster increases in backlogs were signalled by both service providers and manufacturers, with the former noting the sharper increase.
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