French Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) data was better than expected today. Service order books for April saw an improvement from 41.3 to 44.1 (42 expected) and manufacturing rose from 44 to 44.4 (44.3). However, these are very small improvements and both sectors remain in contraction (a reading below 50 implies a contraction).
Earlier business climate figures worsened from 90 to 88 for April and Markit reports that staffing levels fell at their fastest rate since January, with job cuts accelerating in both manufacturing and services.
Relief for France. Strong (and surprising) PMI rebound in April, although both services and manufacturing sectors still contracting sharply.— Jamie McGeever (@ReutersJamie) April 23, 2013