France PMI Manufacturing improved to 40.3 in May, up from 31.5, above expectation of 40.3. PMI services rebounded notably to 29.4, up from 10.2, just missed expectation of 30.0. PMI Composite rose to 30.5, up sharply from 11.1.

Eliot Kerr, Economist at IHS Markit said: “As anticipated, the latest France Flash PMI results pointed to a much slower contraction in business activity during May, with some companies reopening as lockdown measures are cautiously pared back. However, despite some firms beginning to resume operations, the private sector as a whole posted another sharp decline in activity, falling further from an already low base set in April. The data highlights the difficulties economies may face in the recovery from this crisis, as firms continue to lay-off workers amid a persistently uncertain outlook. Given the sharp contraction in first quarter GDP caused by only two weeks in lockdown, the latest PMI data suggest that we are set for colossal reduction in economic activity during the second quarter.”

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