French business activity stronger than expected in June

French business activity perked up unexpectedly in June as a stronger than expected service sector made up for a softer manufacturing sector, data compiler IHS Markit said in its preliminary composite purchasing managers index. (Reuters)
Updated 22 June 2018
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French business activity stronger than expected in June

PARIS: French business activity perked up unexpectedly in June as a stronger than expected service sector made up for a softer manufacturing sector, a survey published on Friday showed.
Data compiler IHS Markit said its preliminary composite purchasing managers index, comprising both sectors, rose in June to 55.6 from 54.2 in May.
That beat economists’ average expectations in a Reuters poll for a stable reading and brought the index further away from the 50-point line dividing an expansion in activity from a contraction.
IHS Markit economist Paul Smith said that the reading was consistent with quarterly economic growth of 0.3 percent this quarter.
“France’s economy showed noticeably divergent trends at the end of the second quarter, with the manufacturing and service sectors heading in markedly different growth directions,” Smith said.
While the dominant, more domestically focused service sector was benefitting from improved demand at home, manufacturers were seeing weaker export demand as well as growing price pressures, he said.
The service sector PMI rose to 56.4 from 54.3 in May, easily beating economists’ expectations on average for a steady reading of 54.3.
Meanwhile, in the manufacturing sector, the PMI eased back to a 16-month low 53.1 from 54.4 in May, falling short of expectations for a reading of 53.9.
The flow of manufacturers’ new orders was the weakest since February 2017 but capacity pressures kept factories busy working off backlogs of unfinished work.
Meanwhile, in the service sector, IHS Markit said panellists reported success turning firmer market demand into new contract wins.


Saudi Arabia, China sign $28 billion worth of economic accords

Updated 22 February 2019
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Saudi Arabia, China sign $28 billion worth of economic accords

  • A total 35 agreements had been signed at a joint investment forum held by Saudi Arabia’s investment agency SAGIA

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia and China signed economic cooperation agreements worth a total of $28 billion at a joint investment forum during a visit by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Beijing, Saudi state news agency SPA said on Friday.
It said 35 agreements had been signed at the forum, held by Saudi Arabia’s investment agency SAGIA. It also said four licenses for Chinese companies had been awarded at the forum.

The forum, which coincided with the official visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman China as part of his Asian tour, aimed at enhancing opportunities for joint cooperation between the two countries in various fields.

Other cooperation agreements signed during the forum included areas of the Kingdom's target sectors such as renewable energy aimed at activating cooperation and consultation frameworks in the field of investment development in wind turbines by manufacturing Electric control devices, wind turbine structures, turbine blades and wind generators with an investment of $ 18 million.

The agreement aims to open up to 800 new job opportunities in one of the most targeted sectors of sustainable development.