PARIS, Aug 5 (Reuters) – French service sector activity slipped back in July from a seven-month high reached in June, although jobs creation in the services sector accelerated, a survey showed on Monday,
Data compiler IHS Markit said its Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for services edged down to 52.6 points in July from 52.9 points in June. The July reading was slightly better than a flash reading of 52.2.
A reading above 50 points marks an expansion in activity, while one below 50 points signals a contraction.
IHS Markit’s composite PMI, covering the manufacturing sector as well as services, fell to 51.9 points in July from 52.7 in June, also beating the flash reading of 51.7.
Relative strength in the services sector has offset a weaker performance among France’s manufacturers in recent months.
“French services firms continued to support the wider economy at the start of the third quarter, with solid output growth in the sector more than offsetting a decline at manufacturers,” said IHS Markit economist Eliot Kerr.
“The latest expansion at service providers was driven by another rise in new orders, which panellists often associated with a strengthening demand environment.”
Kerr said that although the service sector continued to exhibit strength, there was a risk of negative spillover from the soft patch in manufacturing.
“The longer goods producers continue to show weak results, the greater the likelihood that the poor performance will weigh on services,” he added.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Catherine Evans)