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Economy in Brief

Business Climate Perks up in France
by Robert Brusca November 27, 2007

France’s business climate improved to an index reading of 110 in November from 108 in October. The gain, like the rise in the German IFO index was unexpected. Still the index has moderated as the level reading has flattened out and the percentage gain reading shows a slowdown is still in effect. The climate index sits firmly at the 74th percentile mark of its range. The production trends and likely trend readings are also firm in their ranges in their 59th and 79th range percentiles, respectively. Orders are in about the same relative standing in the 74th percentile of their range and foreign orders are in the 69th percentile of their range..

The bounce in the French and German industrial sentiment gauges in November is curious especially as the euro moves higher and there have been concerns voiced of what a strong euro might do to growth. Still the rises in these two industrial gauges were small and they have not reversed the trends to weaker readings that had been in force. A stronger exchange rate is a good thing in many respects since it increases purchasing power and helps to fight off inflation. But so far in EMU the inflation numbers have stayed troublesome and even gotten worse, at least they have for Germany.

INSEE Industry Survey
          Since Jan 1990 Since Jan 1990
  Nov-07 Oct-07 Sep-07 Aug-07 Percentile Rank Max Min Range Mean
Climate 110 108 109 109 74.0 40 123 73 50 101
Production
Recent Trend 3 10 6 11 59.8 78 44 -58 102 -6
Likely trend 43 34 32 33 79.2 6 63 -33 96 7
Orders/Demand
Orders & Demand 3 -1 1 1 74.7 30 25 -62 87 -15
Foreign Orders & Demand 4 3 10 8 69.7 51 31 -58 89 -11
Prices
Likely Sales Prices Trend 9 9 13 11 68.1 29 24 -23 47 0
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