French Jan factory activity rebound not as strong as forecast -PMI
PARIS (Reuters) – France’s manufacturing activity rebound in January was not quite as strong as first forecast, a survey showed on Wednesday, as new orders remained weak.
S&P Global’s final purchasing managers index (PMI) figure for January rose to 50.5 points, up from a final figure of 49.2 points in December, but below the preliminary “flash” reading of 50.8.
Any figure above 50 suggests an expansion in activity, while below that points to a contraction.
“We’re starting to see more evidence to suggest that the worst of the manufacturing downturn is behind us. Although demand and production levels are still falling, rates of contraction are modest and markedly softer than those seen in the second half of last year,” said S&P Global Market Intelligence senior economist Joe Hayes.
“Nevertheless, survey respondents continue to remark on client de-stocking, a factor which continues to dampen new orders,” added Hayes.
Preliminary French fourth quarter gross domestic product figures this week showed growth of 0.1%, but economists say there is still a risk of a recession.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Hugh Lawson)