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[PARIS] French economic activity expanded in the private sector for the fifth month running in June as manufacturers finally shook off a lengthy recession and the dominant services sector continued to expand, a survey showed on Friday.
The Purchasing Managers Index compiled by Markit, a business consultancy, came in at 53.3, up from 52.0 in May. That marked the fifth consecutive month it had remained above the 50-point mark that divides expansion and contraction.
A faster rise in new business underpinned the acceleration in activity and rising backlogs encouraged companies to hire staff, while optimism improved to the highest level for over three years, Markit said.
The final PMI reading for June was broadly the same as the preliminary one published on June 23.
"The upturn finally seems to be gaining traction and firms are becoming increasingly confident in the sustainability of this growth, as signalled by service providers' business expectations rising to the highest level in over three years," Markit economist Jack Kennedy said.
In the service sector, the PMI index of activity for June stood at 54.1.
Earlier this week, the PMI index suggested the manufacturing sector had finally quit a recession, with a reading of 50.7, the first above 50 since April 2014.