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Service providers in France reported a third successive increase in business activity during September. The rate of expansion was solid, having quickened to the fastest since June 2015. Supporting stronger activity growth was a sharper rise in incoming new business. Backlogs of work also increased at a faster pace, while staffing levels rose slightly. Input costs increased, but prices charged by service providers were cut further. Business expectations meanwhile improved in the latest survey period.
The seasonally adjusted headline Markit France Business Activity Index - which is based on a single question asking respondents to report on the actual change in business activity at their companies compared with one month ago - posted 53.3 in September. Up from 52.3 in August, the latest index reading pointed to a solid rate of growth that was the fastest in 15 months.
The final seasonally adjusted Markit France Composite Output Index - which covers the combined manufacturing and service sectors - climbed to 52.7 in September from 51.9 in August. That signalled the fastest rate of growth since June 2015
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