France's manufacturing sector is nosediving

It’s flash PMI day in Europe, meaning we get a snapshot of growth in the Eurozone’s two powerhouses — France and Germany.

We’re getting preliminary readings for growth of the service sector, manufacturing, and overall economy of both in January. Each PMI reading is given as a figure between 0 and 100 — anything above 50 signals growth, while below means contraction.

France is up first, here’s what we’ve got:

  • Manufacturing: 50 — well below economists forecasts of 51.3 and down from 51.4 in December;
  • Services: 50.6 — above expectations of 50.2 and an acceleration from December’s figure of 49.8;
  • Overall economy: 50.5 — an acceleration from 50.1 last month.

While the overall picture is not bad, the huge collapse in manufacturing will be a worry to President Francois Hollande. The President this week declared a state of economic emergency, pledging to spend €2 billion to tackle France’s stubbornly high unemployment.

Germany’s flash PMIs are due at 8.30 a.m. GMT (3.30 a.m. ET). We’ll update this post with them once they’re in, keep checking back.

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