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France Maintains Output Momentum

France Maintains Output MomentumFrance Maintains Output Momentum

France’s private-sector output maintained its momentum at the start of 2018 as companies benefited from the strongest demand in more than six years, Bloomberg reported. IHS Markit said its composite purchasing managers’ index rose to 59.7 from 59.6 in December. A gauge of new orders jumped to 60, the highest since April 2011. The report also showed that employment rose and business confidence remained elevated, while an increase in backlogs of work suggests continued support for growth. Markit noted that both input costs and selling prices rose sharply and warned that continued increases could damp demand. The improved picture for France—and the broader eurozone—reflects a strengthening global economy. The International Monetary Fund this week raised its forecasts for world output growth and sees 2018 hitting the fastest expansion in seven years. Markit will publish its January surveys for Germany and the eurozone later on Wednesday. Economists forecast a reading of 57.9 in the 19-nation currency zone, down slightly from 58.1 in December.

 

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