Business sentiment in manufacturing was unchanged this month according to the new ISEE survey. At 99, the sector's climate indicator recorded its third successive reading just short of its 100 long-run average.
Elsewhere morale was similarly little changed with the exception of retail where the sub-index jumped some 8 points to 103. Services were flat at December's downwardly revised 92 while construction slipped a point to 88 and the quarterly wholesale trade measure dropped a couple of points to 94. For the economy as a whole, the climate indicator weighed in at 94, matching its mark in both November and December.
INSEE's results suggest that the upcoming flash January PMI survey will paint a broadly stable economic picture at the start of the year.
The indicator is a measure of the prevailing sentiment among French business leaders. The main focus is the manufacturing sector but the survey provides separate sentiment measures for construction, retail trade and services on a monthly basis and for wholesale trade every other month.
If you are looking for clues on French business sentiment, this survey would be a good starting point. The indicator is based on a survey that asks business leaders about their expectations for new orders and their overall impressions of the economy. The results are a diffusion index that reflects the difference between positive and negative responses as a percentage of the total number of answers. It uses 100 as the dividing line between positive and negative sentiment.
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