The PMI report also showed that the speed at which factory costs rose was the weakest in a year, even as output prices rose at the fastest rate in three months while firms adjusted their pricing of products to account for the new national tax. "Business confidence also rose to one of its highest levels in over a year".
New contracts predominately came from the domestic market, although exports remained strong, if down on July's near-record high. Any number above 50 suggests growth in the sector's output.
French manufacturing activity reached a more than six-year high in August with new orders for export picking up despite the euro's strength, a survey showed on Friday.
Growth in new orders weakened to the slowest pace in eight months at 54.4, down from 56.4 the month before.More news: Gasoline pipeline in Atlanta temporarily suspends operations due to Hurricane Harvey
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The job market saw its thirteenth straight month of growth, with August marking the quickest rate of increase since June 2014.
Input prices continued to rise sharply though only 4 percent of the companies surveyed said they were able to pass on some of the increase to consumers, a further setback for the Bank of Japan's efforts to reach its elusive 2 percent inflation target.
"The manufacturing economy remains in good health despite Brexit uncertainty, and should help support on-going growth in the economy in the third quarter, which will add fuel to hawkish policymakers' calls for higher interest rates", said Rob Dobson, Director at IHS Markit.
Samuel Tombs, chief United Kingdom economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said: "The pick up in the PMI brings tentative hope that the recent decline in the official manufacturing output data will be reversed swiftly". Nomura said GDP appears headed for a higher growth rate ans should average 7.4 per cent for the second half of 2017, as against 5.9 per cent for the first half, as the economy recovers from the last nine months of disruptions.