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An unexpected contractionary French manufacturing PMI reading in August (49.0, vs 52.4 prior and 53.0 expected), in addition to a much weaker-than-expected services number (51.9 vs 57.3 prior and 56.3 expected) appears to cast doubt on the cyclical upturn story in the eurozone, with the EUR moving lower and core European FI higher.
- From the IHS Markit release: "Softer activity growth was partially driven by a slower rise in new orders midway through the third quarter. The latest increase in sales was only marginal, with manufacturers posting a slight decline and services firms recording a softer expansion...new export business fell for the eighth month in a row"
- On unemployment: "private sector firms continue to pare back their staff numbers in August, extending the current sequence of workforce contraction to six months. Moreover, the rate of reduction accelerated slightly from July and was solid overall"
- On inflation: "the rate of inflation accelerated to the quickest since January"
- On the outlook: "firms remained optimistic towards the 12-month business outlook. However, the degree of positivity eased from July's five-month high and was weaker than the historical average. Anecdotal evidence suggested that firms remained wary of further COVID-19 outbreaks."