September 2, 2019 / 7:54 AM / 3 months ago

French manufacturing returns to growth in August - PMI

FILE PHOTO: An employee holds a glass as he works at the Duralex International glass factory in La Chapelle-Saint-Mesmin, near Orleans, France March 10, 2017. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

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

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