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Economy in Brief

INSEE Biz Index Holds its Ground: Uptrend Intact 
by Robert Brusca July 25, 2007

The INSEE Biz index for French industry is still in its impressive uptrend. Yet it is only in the 74th percentile of its range and it is about 10% above its mean value. The index is off peak and while the trend is technically still in place it is appropriate to wonder if the uptrend is abating.

Orders and demand trends are still firm but so is the series ‘likely price trend’. The MFG portion of the survey shows a bit more of a loss in momentum. The Production trend reading fell off in July to 17 from 24 but still ranking in the mid-70s in terms of the percentile of its range of values - a firm result. The recent trend for production assessment ticked up in July; the likely trend assessment also rose to 15 from 14. MFG prices expected are only at a reading of 6 and reside in their 62nd percentile of their range, a more modest showing than for French industry overall.

On balance, the readings from France are still solid and encouraging. Some of the inflation responses are, however, on the high side, and for overall industry, with a bit of momentum.

INSEE Industry Survey
    Since Jan 1990 Since Jan 1990
  Jul-07 Jun-07 May-07 Apr-07 Percentile Rank Max Min Range Mean
Climate 110 110 108 112 74.0 41 123 73 50 101
Production
  Recent Trend 16 24 14 10 72.5 44 44 -58 102 -6
  Likely trend 31 27 22 21 66.7 20 63 -33 96 7
Orders/Demand
  Orders&Demand 2 4 3 5 73.6 33 25 -62 87 -15
  Foreign Orders & Demand 5 4 6 10 70.8 46 31 -58 89 -11
Prices
  Likely Sales Prices Trend 10 10 9 4 70.2 26 24 -23 47 0
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