The recovery of the European industry is faltering, while the number of virus infections is on the rise again, and governments are cautiously adopting a stricter corona policy again.
French industry activity unexpectedly fell in August, according to preliminary figures from British market researcher Markit.
In Germany and the eurozone, activity increased further, but less rapidly than economists had foreseen.
The purchasing managers’ index for the French industry was 49, from 52.4 a month earlier. A position above 50 is a sign of increasing activity, below that there is shrinkage. Economists had expected a level of 53.
France, like several other euro area countries, is struggling with a revival of the pandemic.
In the meantime, the government has tightened up the corona measures again to curb the spread of the virus, although the authorities do not seem to intend to go as far as with the first corona wave. Earlier, the reduction of lockdown increased industrial activity.
For the German industry, the indicator for August was 53, from 51 in July. In the eurozone as a whole, Markit recorded scores of 51.7 and 51.8 in these months.
Activity in the services sector also developed less positively than expected. Withstands of nearly 52, just under 51 and over 50, the French, German and European services sectors showed only limited growth.