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France Private Sector Growth Unexpectedly Improves

France's private sector growth unexpectedly improved in September driven by the services activity, flash survey results from S&P Global showed on Friday.

The composite output index rose to 51.2 in September from a 17-month low of 50.4 in August. The reading was forecast to fall to 49.8. A score above 50.0 indicates expansion.

The service sector was the sole driver of the expansion in September. This was a stark contrast to the trend in the manufacturing sector.

The flash services Purchasing Managers' Index advanced to 53.0 from 51.2 in the previous month. The expected score was 50.5.

On the other hand, the manufacturing PMI fell to a 28-month low of 47.8 in September from 50.6 a month ago. Economists had forecast the index to fall to 49.8.

"Given the large degree of weakness we're seeing in the manufacturing sector, it's likely that we'll see some of this spill over into services, thereby raising the risk of a recession in France," Joe Hayes, a senior economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence said.

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