According to the PMI published Tuesday by S&P Global and the Hamburg Commercial Bank (HCOB), private sector activity in France experienced a new "marked" contraction in November. An index above 50 shows an expansion in activity while a reading below this threshold indicates a contraction.
By September, the index had hit a nearly three-year low of 44.1. This was the sixth consecutive month of contraction in private activity, according to this indicator. According to S&P Global and HCOB, the survey data showed "a sharp deterioration in demand across the private sector, with the overall volume of new business falling by the most in three years."
Private sector firms also downsized, dragging down employment for the first time in three years in the face of weak demand. In services, the indicator improved slightly compared to the previous month, to 45.4 from 45.2, but remains clearly in contraction. "The companies surveyed frequently attributed the decline in activity levels to unfavorable market conditions and the impact of customer reluctance on their sales levels," S&P Global and HCOB point out.