France: Business confidence weakens amid slowing demand
July 24, 2012
The business sentiment index published by the National Statistical Institute (INSEE) fell from a revised 91 points in June (previously reported: 92 points) to 90 points in July, which represents the lowest level since February 2010. The drop contrasted market expectations, which had business confidence remaining stable at the original 92 points recorded in June. As a result of the monthly fall, business sentiment moved further below its long-term average of 100 points, where it has now languished since September 2011. The monthly result reflected a further deterioration in general as well as in personal production expectations. In addition, demand and export order levels worsened notably over the previous month. According to the Central Bank's monthly index of business activity (MIBA), GDP contracted 0.1% in the second quarter.