France: Business sentiment improves in August
In August, the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies’ (INSEE) business sentiment index for the manufacturing sector ticked up to 110 points from an upwardly revised 109 points (previously reported: 108 points) a month earlier. Climbing back from its worst reading in a year, the indicator landed above the 100-point long-run average—INSEE’s benchmark measure to distinguish between improvement and deterioration in the business climate.
August’s reading reflected a strong revision of past activity among manufacturers, as well as improved opinion on domestic order books. Export orders, meanwhile, continued to be viewed less favorably. Firms viewed their finished-goods inventories more positively and, moreover, their outlook on employment remained upbeat.
Improvement in the business climate was recorded among food-processing and transport-equipment manufacturers, while machinery-and-equipment manufacturers noted a modest deterioration from a month earlier.