PARIS (Reuters) – French manufacturers saw business pick up at the fastest pace in five months in November, underpinned by improving client demand, a survey showed on Monday.
Data compiler IHS Markit said its Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector rose to 51.7 from 50.7 in October, marginally better than a preliminary reading of 51.6.
The improvement not only brought the index further from the 50-point threshold between an expansion and a contraction in activity but it was the highest reading since last June.
A breakdown of the data showed that the flow of new orders returned to growth in November after falling for two months in a sign of firm client demand.
“Latest PMI data revealed positive results across the board for the French manufacturing sector in November,” IHS Markit economist Eliot Kerr said.
“Although the rate of output growth remained subdued, it was the quickest for five months, supported by a renewed expansion in new orders. Moreover, firms continued to hire additional staff and the pace of job creation was the fastest since July 2018,” he added.
France increasingly stands out for the strength of its manufacturing sector, boosted by relatively strong demand at home and much less exposed to international trade than export-dependent Germany.
(Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Catherine Evans)