French factories churned out goods at their fastest pace in seven years in November, putting the resurgent manufacturing sector on course for its best quarter since 2000, a survey showed on Friday.
Data compiler IHS Markit said its final purchasing managers’ index rose to 57.7 in November from 56.1 in October, beating a flash reading of 57.5 and pulling further away from the 50-point line dividing expansions in activity from contractions.
“The latest data continued to paint a positive picture of the French manufacturing sector, with output, new orders and employment all expanding at marked and accelerated rates,” IHS Markit Economist Alex Gill said.
Gill said manufacturing growth looked set to keep up the brisk pace for the remainder of the year and that, with an average of 56.9 for October and November, the headline PMI was on course for its best quarter in 17 years.
Manufacturing activity in the euro zone’s second-biggest economy has enjoyed something of a renaissance since the end of last year, after five years of contraction or near-stagnation.
Rock-bottom interest rates, a tax credit aimed at reducing manufacturers’ labour costs, and faster growth among France’s biggest trading partners have laid the ground work for a recovery which seems to be gathering steam.
Hard data has shown industrial output stood 2.7 percent higher in the third quarter than during the same period last year, and leading indicators such as IHS Markit’s PMIs signal a even stronger pace in the final quarter.