France Business Confidence March 2017


France: Business sentiment dips in March

March 23, 2017

According to the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies’ (INSEE) business climate survey on manufacturing activity, the indicator edged down from February’s over six-year high of 107 points to 104 points in March. The reading undershot market expectations of remaining stable at 107 points in March. Despite the drop, the indicator remains above the 100-point long-term average, which is the benchmark measure the INSEE uses to distinguish between improving and worsening business expectations.

According to the INSEE, March’s decrease reflected a drop in four of the five components of the index. General and personal production expectations dropped in the surveyed month. Views on inventories’ level was the only sub component that increased. Global order books and pastive activity also dipped. Of the different industries in the manufacturing sector, sentiment in transportment equipment and other manufacturing declined while it remained stable in machinery and equipment goods compared to the previous month.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect fixed investment to expand 1.9% in 2017, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast. For 2018, participants expect fixed investment to expand 2.3%.

Author: Jean-Philippe Pourcelot, Economist

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France Business Confidence Chart

France Business Confidence March 2017

Note: Value of monthly business sentiment indicator index; long-term avg. at 100.
Source: National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE).

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