France: Business confidence rises in November
December 17, 2010
The Central Bank's business sentiment indicator for manufacturers rose from 104 points in October to 107 points in November, contrasting market expectations that had business confidence falling to 103 points. With the November increase, the index moved further above its long-term average of 100. Capacity utilisation rose significantly over the previous month and order books expanded, while inventories of final goods remained in line with expected levels. In addition, activity in the services sector improved, buttressed by strong growth in temporary work. More recent data on the economic climate in the manufacturing industry are in line with the outlook implied by positive reading of the Central Bank's indicator. The business sentiment measurement developed by the National Statistical Institute (INSEE) rose from 100 points in November to 103 points in December. According to the Central Bank's monthly index of business activity (MIBA), the economy is expected to expand 0.6% in the fourth quarter, which is 0.1 percentage points above the first estimate. Meanwhile, the quarterly economic outlook released by INSEE in December has the economy to expanding 0.5% in the fourth quarter, up from the 0.4% growth reported for the third quarter.