France: European debt crisis continues to erode business confidence
November 23, 2011
In November, the business sentiment index published by the National Statistical Institute (INSEE) dropped to 95 points from 97 points in October, amid concerns that the European debt crisis and slowing global economic growth will crimp demand. The reading was in line with market expectations, and marked its lowest level since April 2010. With the monthly decrease, business sentiment remains below its long-term average of 100 points for the third consecutive month. The fall in business confidence reflected steep deteriorations in the personal production outlook as well as demand and export order levels. The decline in business confidence does not bode well for economic activity in the months ahead. According to the Central Bank's monthly index of business activity (MIBA), GDP is expected to remain stable in the fourth quarter, which matched the INSEE projection, according to its October quarterly economic outlook.