French manufacturing slows

Posted on 21 Apr 2018 and read 400 times
French manufacturing slowsIn March, French manufacturing grew at the slowest pace in a year, as customer demand weakened in the face of a stronger euro and bad weather, according to IHS Markit’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI), which fell to 53.7 (from 55.9 in February).

This figure brought the index closer to the 50-point line dividing expansion in activity from contraction, although it was marginally higher than a preliminary reading of 53.6.

The flow of new orders and the back-logs of work already on order both grew at the slowest pace since February 2017, but companies only marginally slowed their hiring.

IHS Markit (www.ihsmarkit.com) economist Alex Gill said: “Weaker client demand can be at least partially attributed to poor weather conditions and a strong euro.

“Taken together, the data suggest a moderation from the rates of growth that we saw in much of 2017. At 53.7 in March, however, the headline PMI remains firmly in expansionary territory and consistent with a positive contribution of the sector to GDP for the first quarter.

“France saw ‘unexpectedly cold’ weather as well as snow in March, and the euro has been trading around a three-year high since the start of the year, which makes French goods more expensive to buyers outside the euro zone.”

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