French factory activity expands slightly in October - PMI

FILE PHOTO: An aerial view shows the Eiffel tower, the Seine River and the Paris skyline, France, July 14, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

PARIS (Reuters) - French manufacturing activity expanded in October, helped by the fastest rise in output since June, as the euro zone’s second-biggest economy shows signs of resilience in the face of an uncertain global economy.

The final Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector rose to 50.7 points in October from 50.1 in September, data compiler IHS Markit said.

The final figure was slightly better than an initial, flash estimate of 50.5 for the October manufacturing PMI.

“Latest PMI data pointed to the quickest rise in French manufacturing production for four months, which helped support a slight improvement in business conditions,” said IHS Markit economist Eliot Kerr.

“The survey results also pointed to an upward trend in employment, as staff numbers increased at the fastest pace since June,” added Kerr.

France’s economy defied forecasts for a slowdown in the third quarter after the government injected billions of euros of stimulus, boosting consumer demand and offsetting a slump in trade.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Hugh Lawson