France: Business sentiment dips but remains elevated
According to the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies’ (INSEE) business climate survey on manufacturing activity, the business sentiment index edged down from a revised 114 points in January (previously reported: 113 points) to 112 points in February. The print came in below market expectations of the indicator dropping more moderately to 113 points. The indicator is currently resting well above the 100-point long-term average, the INSEE’s benchmark measure to distinguish between improving and worsening business expectations.
According to the INSEE, business sentiment in February was dragged down by a decline in half of the main components of the index. Personal production expectations and general production expectations were perceived more negatively though remain well above their long-term averages. In contrast, views on finished goods inventory improved while businesses’ assessment on overall order books and export order books remained unchanged from last month.
Regarding the different industries in the manufacturing sector, sentiment deteriorated in machinery and equipment goods, and manufactue of food products and beverages. Assessment on the business climate for the manufacture of transport equipment remained unchanged in February.