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France’s Manufacturing PMI Surprises, Eurozone Activity Is Subdued

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May. 23 2019, Published 12:41 p.m. ET

France’s PMI

While Germany (EWG) continued to struggle on the manufacturing front, France (EWQ) reported a positive surprise.

France’s manufacturing PMI (purchasing managers’ index) came in at 50.6 in May compared to 50 in April, a three-month high. It was also higher than the expected level of 50. While output continued to show a decline, the manufacturing PMI was supported by new orders, order backlog, and employment.

France’s services PMI also increased from 50.5 in April to 51.3 in May. Analysts had expected it to be 50.8.

The French composite PMI, which is a combination of sentiments in the manufacturing as well as the services sector, increased from 50.1 in April to 51.3 in May.

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Eurozone PMI

IHS Markit has also published flash Eurozone (VGK) PMI for May, which includes France and Germany apart from other Eurozone (EZU) countries. The manufacturing sector in the Eurozone continued to see contraction. The same was reflected in the manufacturing PMI dropping to 47.7 in May compared to 47.9 in April. Manufacturing employment saw a fall for the first time in 57 months. Input and output price inflation remained modest, while the order backlog fell sharply. The services sector in the Eurozone (BBEU) continued to grow. The services PMI came in at 52.5 in May compared to 52.8 in April. The Eurozone’s composite PMI, which combines both the manufacturing and services sectors, came in at 51.6 in May compared to 51.5 in April.

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