France’s manufacturing PMI in April
According to data provided by Markit Economics, the final Markit France manufacturing PMI (purchasing managers’ index) stood at 53.8 in April compared to 53.7 in March. The PMI figure beat the preliminary market estimate of 53.4.
The performance of France’s manufacturing PMI in April was mainly due to the following factors:
- Production volume and output rose at a weaker rate in April.
- New business orders and export orders rose at a softer rate in April.
- The employment growth in the manufacturing sector showed weaker improvement in the same month.
The weaker manufacturing activity in France in the past four months is signaling that the economy has been suffering from sharp uncertainty about its short-term demand outlook. The demand is weakening in the economy as clients have been marginally concerned about the painful impact of a global trade war. Overall growth in the Eurozone economy weakened in 1Q18 compared to 4Q17.
Performance of various ETFs in April
The iShares MSCI France ETF (EWQ), which tracks France’s economic performance, rose 4.0% in April. The iShares MSCI Eurozone ETF (EZU), which tracks the performance of the Eurozone (IEV), rose 2.6% in the same month.
In the next part of this series, we’ll analyze Germany’s final manufacturing PMI in April.