France’s economic recovery stumbled this month, with a report showing a decline in activity, demand and employment in the private sector. IHS Markit’s composite Purchasing Managers Index unexpectedly fell to a four-month low of 48.5 from 51.6 in August, with services leading the decline. That’s below the key 50 line and compares with forecasts for a reading of 51.9.

The composite PMI unexpectedly falls to a four-month low

The report linked the decline to the rise in coronavirus cases seen across Europe in recent weeks. Countries have imposed new restrictions on movement in a bid to reverse the trend, hitting businesses.

The drop in the PMI follows a rebound from the lockdown earlier this year that proved stronger than anticipated. But while there have been upgrades to the near-term growth outlook, governments and central banks are clear that full recovery will take much longer, and many industries are still in trouble.