According to Markit Economics, a global financial information company that provides independent economic data, the French private sector has seen strong growth in June 2015. Using its Markit Flash France Composite Output Index, private company output saw growth rise from 52.0 index points in May to 53.4 in June. While France’s private sector output has expanded in each of the past five months, this was the strongest rate of expansion in 46 months.
French manufacturing output remained largely unchanged
The Composite Output Index is the weighted average of Markit Economics’ Manufacturing Output Index and the Services Business Activity Index. Within the French economy, the services industry has fuelled much of this private sector growth, with its increase at its sharpest since 2011. In contrast, French manufacturing output remained largely unchanged, although this brought an end to a 12-month long period of falling output among manufactures.
Employment increased for a fourth consecutive month within the private sector, although growth was modest with little increase from the prior month’s data. Much of the job growth also came from the services industry, with manufacturing employment still declining. New business opportunities also grew for service industry firms, while manufacturers suffered a marginal decline. Business expectations were also reported to be at a 39-month high.
According to Jack Kennedy, a senior economist at Markit, “The French economy gained further growth momentum in June, driven by a stronger service sector performance and a stabilisation in manufacturing. The figures bode well for second quarter GDP, following the 0.6 percent expansion recorded in the opening quarter of the year. With service sector business expectations standing at the highest level for over three years, it seems firms are becoming increasingly optimistic of a convincing upturn in activity.”