France: Business confidence unchanged in March
March 22, 2013
The monthly business sentiment index published by the National Statistical Institute (INSEE) remained unchanged at February's 90 points in March, which was below market expectations that had the index rising to 91 points. Business sentiment thus remains well below its long-term average of 100 points.
In March, respondents were more optimistic about their past activity but, nonetheless, assessed a deterioration in their production outlook and in total order books. Meanwhile, the general production expectations sub-index, 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. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists maintain a slightly more pessimistic view and see the economy decreasing 0.1% in the first quarter of 2013.