France Business Confidence February 2017


France: Business sentiment rises to over six-year high in February

February 23, 2017

According to the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies’ (INSEE) business climate survey on manufacturing activity, the indicator ticked up from 106 points in January to 107 points in February. The reading beat market expectations of 106 points and was the best print since June 2011. The indicator therefore 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, February’s increase reflected a near broad-based increase in all components of the index. Production expectations rose markedly again in February and logged the best reading since January 2008. Global and export order books also rose considerably and reached the highest print since June 2011. In contrast, goods producers were more pessimistic concerning production expectations for the sector as a whole and perceived that inventories are below normal. Of the industries in the sector, machinery and equipment goods was the only one in which sentiment improved while it decreased in one and remained unchanged in the remaining two.

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 February 2017 1

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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