France: Business confidence moves further into optimistic territory in December
Business sentiment among manufacturing firms rose slightly to 101.4 in December from November’s 101.0. The index lies higher above the long-term average of 100, indicating optimism among businesses.
The headline print largely reflected an improved sentiment for past production, workforce size and general production expectations. That said, the sentiment worsened regarding new orders abroad and personal production expectations. Meanwhile, the economic uncertainty felt by the business managers increased and remained above average.
Commenting on the release, Charlotte de Montpellier, senior economist at ING, stated:
“[T]he picture painted by the business climate indicator is one of stability for the French economy in Q4 2022.[… ] it could mean that the French economy escapes the contraction in activity in the fourth quarter, or even grow slightly. However, the sharp deterioration in the PMI indices in November and the significant contractions in industrial production and consumption in October make us cautious about the stabilisation signal sent by the business climate. The probability of a recession this winter remains high.”