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French private sector output rises at fastest rate in 5-1/2 years

Investing.com -

Investing.com - French private sector activity rose at the fastest rate in five-and-a-half years in January, adding to optimism over the outlook for the euro zone's second largest economy, according to data released on Tuesday.

The preliminary reading of the Markit services purchasing managers' index came in at a 19-month high of 53.9 this month from 52.9 in December.

Economists had forecast an uptick to 53.2.

The manufacturing PMI ticked down to 53.4 from 53.5 a month earlier, in line with forecasts.

The composite output index, which measures the combined output of both the manufacturing and service sectors rose to a 67-month high of 53.8 from 53.4, beating expectations for 53.3.

A reading above 50.0 on the index indicates industry expansion, below indicates contraction.

"The latest PMI data suggested that the French private sector continued to grow at a solid rate in January. The expansion was broad-based with marked increases in output evident in both the manufacturing and service sectors," Alex Gill, senior economist at survey compiler Markit said.

EUR/USD was at 1.0743 from around 1.0735 ahead of the release of the data, while EUR/GBP was at 0.8609 from 0.8612 earlier.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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