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French manufacturing better but still shrinking in May: PMI

[PARIS] French manufacturers' new export orders grew for the first time in a year in May although the sector as whole remained in recession, a monthly survey showed on Monday.

The Purchasing Managers Index compiled by consultancy Markit rose to 49.4 from 48.0 a month earlier, its highest in a year and slightly above a flash estimate of 49.3 but still short of the 50-point mark that divides expansion from contraction.

New export orders rose to 50.5 in May from 47.6 in April.

"The downturn in France's manufacturing sector eased in May, but there remains little to celebrate, with output having fallen throughout the past year," said Markit senior economist Jack Kennedy.

"Further job cuts were made as manufacturers scaled back their staffing levels in accordance with the weak environment."


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