A business survey showed on Friday that French business activity expanded faster than expected in February, as the recovery in the services sector after transport strikes at the end of last year helped offset the decline in manufacturing.
The preliminary composite PMI rose to 51.9 points in February from 51.1 in January, and the rise was mainly due to the expansion of the dominant services sector, which offset the decline in manufacturing activity.
While transportation strikes have been gradually resolved due to the pension reform in the first weeks of January, manufacturers must now cope with the outbreak of the Corona virus in China that is disrupting their supply chains.
February's services PMI reading was 52.6 points, up from 51.0 in January and above market expectations of 51.3. Meanwhile, the manufacturing reading fell to 49.7 from 51.1, reaching its lowest level since July and significantly worse than the median forecast of 50.7.