France’s Flash Composite PMI fell to a 7-month low of 47.0. This is down from 48.0 in November.
Any reading below 50 signals contraction.
The services activity, manufacturing output, and manufacturing PMI sub-indices all deteriorated further into sub-50 levels.
Here’s Markit: “Respondents indicated that lower new orders was behind the fall in output, in turn linked to caution among clients. New business decreased for the third month running. Services companies recorded a modest decline in new orders that was broadly in line with that seen in November. Meanwhile, manufacturing new orders decreased at the fastest pace since April. New export business at manufacturers declined for the second successive month.”
“The last flash PMI readings for 2013 paint a worrying picture on the health of the French economy, said Markit economist Andrew Harker. “The return to contraction in November has been followed up with a sharper reduction in December, with falling new business at the heart of this as clients were reportedly reluctant to commit to new contracts. Firms will hope that such reticence ends in the new year as they seek to avoid another protracted downturn.”