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France’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index Fell Again

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France’s manufacturing PMI in March 2018

According to data provided by Markit Economics, the final Markit France manufacturing PMI (purchasing managers’ index) stood at 53.7 in March 2018 as compared to 55.9 in February 2018. The PMI figure met the preliminary market estimates of 53.6. The factory activity in March 2018 was the slowest expansion in factory activity since March 2017.

The performance of France’s manufacturing PMI in March was mainly affected by the following factors:

  • Production volume and output rose at a softer rate in March 2018.
  • New business orders and export orders also rose at a slower pace in March 2018.
  • Employment growth in the manufacturing sector remained strong in that month.

The gradual fall in manufacturing activity is a major concern for the economy. Weaker domestic demand mainly affected the demand outlook of the sector. The recent ongoing talk about the possible global trade war is affecting investor sentiment around the world.

Performance of various ETFs in March

The iShares MSCI France ETF (EWQ), which tracks France’s performance, fell 0.7% in March 2018. The iShares MSCI Eurozone ETF (EZU), which tracks the performance of the Eurozone (IEV), fell 0.6% in the same month.

In the next part of this series, we’ll analyze Germany’s final manufacturing PMI in March 2018.

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