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French business sentiment dips to lowest in Europe

Staff Writer | July 12, 2016
The latest Markit Business Outlook Survey indicates a drop in sentiment at French private sector firms since the start of the year.
French business sentiment
Europe   Markit France Business Outlook
A net balance of +24% of firms expect a rise in business activity over the coming year, down from +27% in the previous outlook survey conducted in February.

However, French confidence remains the lowest among the major European economies and below the eurozone average (+31%).

Weaker sentiment is signalled in both the manufacturing and service sectors. The net balance for manufacturing is +19%, down from +21% in February. In services, the net balance has dropped to +25%, from +29% in the previous outlook period.

Underlying the softer outlook for activity growth is an expected slowing in the rate of expansion of new business. The respective net balance has slipped to +20%, from +25% in February.

The latest reading is the weakest since early-2015. Similarly, optimism regarding business revenues has dipped, hitting the lowest since October 2014.

Panel members anticipate that their main opportunities over the next 12 months will include new product developments, investment in new capacity, recruitment of new staff, favourable exchange rates and solid demand in certain key markets.