French business activity hits six-month low following second lockdown
January 20, 2021

French business activity hits six-month low following second lockdown: PMI

PARIS (FRANCE) – French business activity contracted this month at the fastest pace since May after the second coronavirus lockdown this year, a survey showed on Monday.

Data compiler IHS Markit said that its preliminary purchasing managers index dropped to 39.9 from 47.5 last month.

The reading corroborates signals from high-frequency data such as Google users’ location histories and electricity use, which have implied that economic activity is retaining its momentum under the second lockdown.

IHS Markit economist Eliot Kerr said, “These results suggest that some French businesses have been able to adapt their operations to the new conditions and are subsequently less susceptible to sharp downturns in activity when tighter restrictions are imposed.”

The PMI for services fell to 38.0 from 46.5 in October, in line with economists’ consensus forecast. Meanwhile, the manufacturing PMI fell to 49.1 from 51.3 in October, short of an expectation for 50.1.

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