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French factory activity grows faster in February: PMI - Metro US

French factory activity grows faster in February: PMI

An employee works on the automobile assembly line of Bluecar electric city cars at Renault car maker factory in Dieppe, western France

PARIS (Reuters) – French manufacturing activity expanded at a faster rate in February, a monthly survey showed on Monday, as output and new orders rose in the euro zone’s second-biggest economy.

Data compiler IHS Markit said its final purchasing managers’ index for February rose to 56.1 points from 51.6 in January, beating the initial “flash” February reading of 55.0 points and far above the 50-point line dividing expansions in activity from contractions.

France’s manufacturing sector has in recent months outperformed the country’s more dominant services sector industry.

While services businesses, which includes bars, hotels and restaurants, have been hit by restrictions imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19, manufacturers have benefited from increased output and a rise in orders.

IHS Markit added that February saw the biggest increase in employment in France’s manufacturing sector since November 2019.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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