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French factory activity shrinks in Sept as energy prices weigh - PMI

An employee works on the automobile assembly line of a Renault Clio IV at the Renault automobile factory in Flins

PARIS (Reuters) - French manufacturing activity contracted in September at the fastest pace since May 2020, a survey among purchasing managers showed on Monday, as high energy prices and global uncertainties weighed on order books.

S&P Global said its final manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell to 47.7 points last month from 50.6 in August, dropping below the 50.0 line denoting growth in activity.

"According to companies, higher energy prices were the main factor at play in September," said S&P Senior Economist Joe Hayes.

Excluding the declines seen since the pandemic began, it was the sharpest contraction for almost a decade, S&P Global said, adding that this indicated a "deterioration in the health" in the sector.

"Businesses were pessimistic in their assessment of the next 12 months, the first time this has been the case since the start of the pandemic over two years ago", said Hayes.

(Reporting by Tassilo Hummel; Editing by Hugh Lawson)