French business activity weakened in October with the return of COVID concerns
PARIS (FRANCE) – French business activity has weakened in October, a monthly survey showed on Friday.
Data compiler IHS Markit said its flash composite Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) came down to a five-month low of 47.3 points in October, down from 48.5 in September.
That brought the index below the 50-point threshold dividing growth in activity from contraction.
The manufacturing PMI slipped to 51.0 from 51.2 in September, while the services PMI fell to a five-month low of 46.5 points in October compared with 47.5 in September.
IHS Markit economist Eliot Kerr said, “The latest release of PMI data delivers more disappointing news for French businesses. The results suggest that the recent rise in COVID-19 cases and subsequent tightening of restrictions has had a notable negative impact on business conditions.”
“Firms’ clients are unwilling to commit to large-scale projects while the trajectory of infection rates is steepening. However, with the European winter fast approaching, the prospect of a sharp drop in new positive cases and a full reopening of the economy seems unlikely,” added Kerr.