France: Business confidence drops in April
April 23, 2012
In April, the business sentiment index published by the National Statistical Institute (INSEE) fell to 95 points from a revised 98 points in March (previously reported: 96 points). The drop contrasted market expectations, which had business confidence remaining unchanged from the original March reading. As a result of the monthly drop, business sentiment remains below its long-term average of 100 points, where it has now languished for eight consecutive months. The April result reflected a deterioration in both general and personal production expectations. In addition, demand and export order levels worsened notably over the previous month. According to the Central Bank's monthly index of business activity (MIBA), GDP growth was flat in the first quarter, which matched INSEE's forecast in its April quarterly economic outlook.