World Economy

French Production Falls

French Production FallsFrench Production Falls

French manufacturing activity shrank for a 12th straight month in April, and the pace of contraction increased from the previous month, according to survey released on Monday. Market Purchasing Manager’s Index showed overall activity fell to 48.0 in April, less than the 48.4 forecast by a Reuters poll and down from 48.8 in March. Anything less than 50 signals a decline. “The French manufacturing sector remains locked in reverse gear,” said Jack Kennedy, a senior economist at Markit. “Production levels were cut at an accelerated rate amid a steeper decline in new orders. This was despite a further fall in prices charged and the recent weakening of the euro, underlining the competitive challenge facing firms.” The survey’s index of new orders dropped to 46.0 from 47.8. New export orders fell to 47.6 from 48.5. France’s dominant services sector has been picking up much of the slack in the economy caused by manufacturing weakness.