French growth signals slow for third month: PMI indicator

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The French economy is showing signs of slowing for the third month in a row, a leading indicator for July showed on Thursday.

The closely watched purchasing managers' index, calculated by the Markit group, showed its index at 52.8 points from 54.9 points in June.

This was the lowest level since August 2009.

Markit economist Jack Kennedy said that apart from during the financial crisis of 2008-2009, the latest data pointed to the weakest expansion of overall activity since the third Gulf War in 2003.

The index of activity and expectations by purchasing managers in business showed a slowdown in both the services and manufacturing sectors.

Kennedy said that if the index performed in a similar way for the whole of the third quarter, it would indicate quarterly growth of nearly zero.

He said that the sharp fall of the index since a peak in April marked a sudden reversal of the trend from a strong beginning to the year by the private sector.

© 2011 AFP

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