France: Business confidence rebounds in February
February 20, 2013
The monthly business sentiment index published by the National Statistical Institute (INSEE) rose to 90 points in February from 87 points in January, surprising the market on the upside. However, despite the improvement, business sentiment remains well below its long-term average of 100 points.
In February, respondents remained pessimistic about their past activity but, nonetheless, assessed an improvement in their production outlook. The monthly result also reflected a strengthening in export order books. Meanwhile, the general production expectations category, which represents business leaders' opinion on French industry as a whole, fell slightly and remains mired in negative territory.
According to the Central Bank's monthly index of business activity (MIBA), GDP is expected to increase by 0.1% in the first quarter.