October 1, 2019 / 7:55 AM / 20 days ago

French manufacturing activity dipped in September - PMI

FILE PHOTO: An employee works on the automobile assembly line of Bluecar electric city cars at Renault car maker factory in Dieppe, western France, September 1, 2015. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - French manufacturing activity dipped in September from the previous month due to a contraction in output and new orders, according to a monthly survey on Tuesday, as the euro zone battles against signs of a recession.

Data compiler IHS Markit said its final Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector fell to 50.1 points in September from 51.1 points in August.

That was marginally lower than a preliminary 50.3 points level recorded for September, but nonetheless remained a touch above the 50-point threshold between an expansion in activity and a contraction.

France’s economy has so far held up better than that of European powerhouse Germany, as tax cuts have propped up consumer and business morale in spite of a global economic slowdown.

The French manufacturing sector has consistently been weaker than the country’s dominant services sector, however, as it is more exposed to the global trade slowdown.

“Following another brief recovery during August, output at manufacturers returned to contraction during September, continuing the subdued performance of the sector seen over the past year,” said IHS Markit economist Eliot Kerr.

“The trend for new orders remained similar, signaling further weakness in demand. The latest contraction in new business was centered on the domestic market, with international sales unchanged from August,” added Kerr.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Leigh Thomas and Catherine Evans

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