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Financial News: French Manufacturing Confidence Strongest Since Late 2018

French Manufacturing Confidence Strongest Since Late 2018

05/26/2021 - 05:06:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - French manufacturing sentiment rose to its highest level in more than two years in May, survey data from the statistical office Insee revealed on Wednesday.

The manufacturing sentiment index advanced to 107 in May from 104 in the previous month. Economists had forecast the score to rise moderately to 106. This was the highest score since August 2018, when the reading was 109.

Manufacturers were more confident about their personal production prospects. The corresponding index rose to 19 from 12. At the same time, the general production expectations index rose sharply to 18 from 3. The score reached its highest point since the spring of 2018.

The balance concerning activity over the last three months has been virtually stable at a high level, close to that of the beginning of 2018.

The manufacturers' opinion on the level of order books further improved with the balance on overall order books rising to -10 from -15 in the previous month.

The balance on foreign order books continued to increase in May. The corresponding gauge climbed to -18 from -22.

Further, business managers improved their view of the trend in their workforce size. The balances related to past as well as expected changes in the workforce size rebounded, after a slight decline in April.

The overall business confidence index that comprises the responses of business leaders in manufacturing, construction, services, retail trade and wholesale trade, improved in May.

At 108, the index has returned above its long-term average of 100, for the first time since February 2020, and was even higher than before the health crisis.

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