France May flash services PMI 29.4 vs 28.2 expected

Author: Justin Low | Category: News

Latest data released by Markit - 21 May 2020

  • Prior 10.2
  • Manufacturing PMI 40.3 vs 36.0 expected
  • Prior 31.5
  • Composite PMI 30.5 vs 32.4 expected
  • Prior 11.4
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As you would expect, the readings for May are showing a noticeable bounce relative to April - especially in services - as more firms report better business activity this month with lockdown restrictions starting to be eased for the most part.

The survey data period was conducted from 12 May to 20 May.

But the devil is in the details. Remember, the headline only captures the shift in balance of businesses reporting better conditions in May than in April.

Markit notes that private sector activity actually fell further in May:

"As anticipated, the latest France Flash PMI results pointed to a much slower contraction in business activity during May, with some companies reopening as lockdown measures are cautiously pared back. However, despite some firms beginning to resume operations, the private sector as a whole posted another sharp decline in activity, falling further from an already low base set in April. The data highlights the difficulties economies may face in the recovery from this crisis, as firms continue to lay-off workers amid a persistently uncertain outlook.

"Given the sharp contraction in first quarter GDP caused by only two weeks in lockdown, the latest PMI data suggest that we are set for colossal reduction in economic activity during the second quarter. "
The full report can be found here.

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