PARIS Reuters) - French manufacturing activity rose to a six-year high in April as new orders improved further even though firms raised prices to pass on higher raw material costs, a survey showed on Tuesday.
Data compiler IHS Markit said its final purchasing managers’ index rose to 55.1 in April from 53.3 in March, reaching the highest level since April 2011.
That was unchanged from a preliminary reading and kept the index comfortably above the 50-point line dividing expansions in activity from contractions.
The flow of new orders improved for the seventh month in a row to also reach a six-year high, with some firms reporting improved demand from the construction sector, which is in the early stages of a recovery after a slump.
Boosted by a relatively weak euro, foreign orders improved on demand from Asia, Brazil, India and Spain even though French manufacturers raised prices for the six month in a row.
“The rate of job creation accelerated, while businesses remained optimistic towards their future growth prospects, indicating that growth momentum is likely to continue in the months ahead,” IHS Markit economist Alex Gill said.
Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Hugh Lawson