Business activity reported by French service providers increased for the fifth time in as many months during November, albeit at a modest pace. New business also rose which contributed to a further accumulation of unfinished work despite a rise in staffing numbers.
Concurrently, input price inflation accelerated from the previous survey period, as did the rate of decline in average charges. Meanwhile, firms retained a positive outlook towards activity growth over the next year. The seasonally adjusted headline Markit France Business Activity Index – which is based on a single question asking respondents to report on the actual change in business activity at their companies compared with one month ago – posted 51.6 in November.
Up from 51.4 in October, the latest index reading pointed to a modest rate of expansion that was little-changed from the previous month. The final seasonally adjusted Markit France Composite Output Index – which covers the combined manufacturing and service sectors – fell to 51.4 in November from 51.6 in October, and signalled the weakest rate of growth in four months.