• Services PMI 51.3 vs. 50.5 expected vs. 48.3 prior.
  • Composite PMI 50.5 vs. 49.9 expected and 48.3 prior.

Key findings:

  • France's service sector back in expansion as demand improves.
  • Employment growth accelerates to nine-month high.
  • Input price inflation cools, but output charges rise at faster rate.


Commenting on the PMI data, Norman Liebke, Economist at Hamburg at Hamburg Commercial Bank, said:

"The French economy is finally growing again. For the first time since May 2023, the HCOB Composite PMI is signalling growth, with an index value of 50.5. Surveyed companies reported that price increases reaccelerated in April, mostly due to higher wages and energy prices. French businesses are also optimistic, with the corresponding PMI for future output being above its historic average. Furthermore, the employment situation improved clearly in April, also showing some signs of optimism.

"Services are keeping the French economy afloat at the moment. The HCOB PMI for business activity in the service sector rose to 51.3, its highest value since May 2023. Improving financing terms, including lower borrowing costs and stronger customer demand were the main reasons reported for better business activity across the services sector.

"Domestic demand rises, and foreign demand falls. The strong uptick in business activity was led by stronger demand – the HCOB PMIs are showing that the demand was only stronger domestically and weaker from abroad. Demand was so strong that outstanding business increased for the first time since July last year.

"Service providers are optimistic. Although the corresponding HCOB PMI for future output expectations moved down a bit, the betterment of the employment sub-index speaks for itself. Rising employment typically signals increased optimism among businesses."