French businesses are finally showing some signs of hiring

Hollande merkelREUTERS/Alessandro GarofaloGermany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) talks with French President Francois Hollande during the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Milan October 16, 2014.

France’s latest business surveys give a mixed picture of how Europe’s second largest economy is going.

Markit’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) figures have the services sector at 51.6 (a little weaker than expected) and manufacturing at 49.3 (a little stronger).

Anything over 50 signals growth, and anything below hints at a recession in that sector

Analysts were expecting a score of 48.5 for manufacturing and 51.9 for services, improvements on the 48 and 51.4 recorded respectively for April.

Perhaps most impressive were the jobs figures — though still fairly weak, they’re good news in France, which has been battling with high unemployment. Here’s Markit’s release:

Employment in the French private sector increased for a third successive month in May. Although quickening to the sharpest since December 2011, the rate of jobs growth remained marginal.

Germany’s PMI numbers are yet to be released, coming at 8:30 a.m. London time (3:30 a.m. New York).

The figure for the eurozone as a whole follows at 9 a.m. London time (4 a.m. New York time).

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