PARIS (Reuters) – France factory activity returned to growth in August as manufacturers saw output and client demand pick up, a monthly survey showed on Monday.
Data compiler IHS Markit said its purchasing managers index for the sector rose to 51.1 from 49.7 in July, breaking through the 50-point threshold between an expansion and a contraction of activity. The result also topped a preliminary reading of 51.0.
In a positive sign for future activity, the flow of new orders not only returned to growth in August but expanded at the fastest pace in nearly a year.
Meanwhile, the rise in current production was only the second recorded in the past six months, IHS Markit economist Eliot Kerr said.
That “pointed to a resilient French manufacturing sector at a time when their European counterparts are struggling,” he added.
Less dependent on exports than other euro zone countries like Germany and Italy, France’s economy has been proving more impervious to a slowdown settling in elsewhere in the bloc, benefiting from an improving labour market and new tax breaks.
(Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Toby Chopra)