Investing.com – French private sector activity grew at the
slowest pace in more than a year in February, underlining concerns
over the economic outlook of the euro zone's second largest
economy, preliminary data showed on Monday.
Markit said that its seasonally adjusted Flash France Composite
Output Index, which measures the combined output of both the
manufacturing and service sectors declined from 50.2 in January to
49.8 in February, the weakest in 13 months and missing forecasts
The preliminary services purchasing managers' index fell to a
seasonally adjusted 49.8 this month. The reading came in below
expectations for 50.3 and down from 50.3 in January.
In contrast, the French manufacturing purchasing managers' index
inched up to a seasonally adjusted 50.3 this month, beating
expectations for 49.9 and up from 50.0 a month earlier.
A reading above 50.0 on the index indicates industry expansion,
below indicates contraction.
Service providers signalled the first drop in new work for 15
months, while manufacturers reported a second successive monthly
fall in new orders, in part reflecting a further decline in export
Commenting on the report, Jack Kennedy, Senior Economist at
Markit said, "The private sector economy continues to follow a
broadly stagnant path, with first-quarter GDP looking likely to
remain sluggish following a 0.2% rise at the end of 2015."
EUR/USD fell to 1.1086 from around 1.1089 ahead of the release
of the data, while EUR/GBP was at 0.7802 from 0.7806 earlier.
Meanwhile, European stock markets were higher after the open.
France's CAC 40 tacked on 1.3%, the EURO STOXX 50 rose 1.5%,
Germany's DAX added 1.35%, while London's FTSE 100 inched up
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