RTTNews - French manufacturing activity continued to improve in July, a report from the CDAF and Markit Economics showed Monday.

The Markit/CDAF purchasing managers index or PMI climbed to 48.1 in July from 45.9 in June. It was higher than the preliminary estimate of 47.9. The latest reading was highest in thirteen months.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 signals a contraction.

In July, new orders and output improved for the first time since May 2008.

Jack Kennedy, economist at Markit said, the French manufacturing sector continued to benefit from stabilising demand and inventory cycle effects in July. Production levels are likely to receive support in the coming months as stocks continue to be cut at an historically sharp rate, the
orders to inventories ratio currently stands at a three-year high. However, underlying conditions remain difficult as firms face pressure to cut output prices and reduce staffing levels.

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