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France Private Sector Shrinks In September

The French private sector contracted in September due to the renewed disruption related to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, survey results from IHS Markit showed Wednesday.

The flash composite output index declined unexpectedly to 48.5 from 51.6 in August. The score was expected to rise to 51.9. A score below 50 indicates contraction.

The fresh downturn was driven by a solid reduction in activity at services firms, while manufacturers reported an expansion in the sector.

The flash services Purchasing Managers' Index came in at 47.5, while it was expected to remain unchanged at 51.5.

Meanwhile, the factory PMI rose to 50.9 from 49.8 a month ago. This was above the consensus of 50.5.

August data had already pointed to a slowdown in the recovery but now the path towards pre-coronavirus levels of activity has gone into reverse, Eliot Kerr, an economist at IHS Markit said.

The rise in case numbers has been accompanied by fresh restrictions, but has also caused hesitancy among businesses due to fears of a second round of temporary business closures, Kerr noted.

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