Wednesday, August 22, 2012

French Flash Manufacturing PMI outlook report 23 august 2012

france Flash Manufacturing PMI outlook report 23 august 2012 : If the results of the most recent surveys are anything to go by, an improvement in the August PMI indicators seems unlikely. In both the services and manufacturing sectors in July, producers made sharp cuts to staffing levels as they expected future activity to weaken further after recent declines in new business orders; the French private sector was looking fragile at the start of Q3, and conditions for a turnaround do not yet seem to be in place.

But perhaps the PMI surveys have understated the strength of broader economic activity in France. Having signalled a sharp GDP contraction in Q2, news of a flat outturn serves as an upside surprise, with business restocking and firmer domestic demand offsetting the drag from net trade (which in itself, was mainly down to a surge in imported purchases - another sign of domestic strength). More recent INSEE survey indicators of a downturn in consumer confidence in to start Q3 suggests that this support may be receding, but German indicators of activity may provide a reason to be hopeful that French exports manage some recovery in August, and business confidence (which, for service providers sank to a February 2009 low in July) may also be lifted.

On this basis, we look for the flash survey measures to reveal slower manufacturing sector contraction in August at 44.5 (up from the previous 38-month low of 43.4), while its service sector counterpart begins to grow again, albeit only just, at 50.5 from 50 in July.

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