French business confidence stable in January

25th January 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 25, 2007 (AFP) - French business confidence was stable in January compared with the December level, but companies saw an improvement in their production prospects, the statistics institute INSEE reported on Thursday.

PARIS, Jan 25, 2007 (AFP) - French business confidence was stable in January compared with the December level, but companies saw an improvement in their production prospects, the statistics institute INSEE reported on Thursday.

INSEE said its index measuring corporate sentiment came to 106 in January, as it had in the previous month.

Business leaders pointed to "a stabilisation in the industrial sector" and said their "foreign and domestic order books were well-stocked," according to INSEE.

Economist Mathieu Kaiser at the bank BNP Paribas said the INSEE report was "interesting, in that there were a number of risks at the start of the year -- a slowdown in the US economy, the appreciation of the euro, the introduction of higher value added taxes in Germany -- that should have weighed on sentiment."

"But the first two risks appear to have eased over the last two weeks," he said.

Alexander Law of the financial research group Xerfi said the INSEE indicator revealed "signs of optimism that are shared by French households, which are seen not in opinion polls but in store purchases."

"Businessmen are confident because demand directed toward France remained strong, thanks to sound world and eurozone economies."

He noted that French manufacturing output rose about 1.3 percent in 2006 and should increase this year as well, a trend that is "far from reflecting a deep crisis in French industry."

Copyright AFP

Subject: French News, Economy

0 Comments To This Article