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French manufacturing sentiment highest since 2011

Staff Writer |
French manufacturing sentiment held steady at the highest level in almost six years in May, survey results from the statistical office Insee showed Tuesday.

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The business confidence index remained at 109 in May, its highest level since June 2011. The reading was expected to remain unchanged at April's initial estimate of 108.

According business managers, opinion on their past activity edged down, while that on personal production expectations was virtually stable. The indicator for past activity came in at 15 versus 18 in April.

The personal production expectations index rose marginally to 14 in May from 13 in previous month.

Business managers were much more upbeat than in April on general production prospects for the sector. The corresponding index advanced to 7 from 1.

Their opinion on overall and export order books was almost unchanged, the corresponding balances being significantly above normal. The balance on global order books was -5 and that for export orders was -2.

The overall business confidence index improved to 105 in May from 104 in April. The business climate remains favorable, as since the beginning of the year.

The composite indicator, compiled from the answers of business managers in the main sectors stood five points above its long-term average of 100.

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