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Economy in Brief

BOF Biz Indicators Softens
by Robert Brusca February 15, 2008

The Bank of France monthly business survey for January 2008 shows that production has held up but that there is a clear gnawing away at past trends. The chart at the top shows that the Biz indicators have been fairly flat recently but viewed as a percentage from a Year ago there is clear degradation in the index’s momentum. The sentiment index itself now sits just below the middle of this two year range in the 45th percentile. The production outlook is near the top third of its range in the 64th percentile. Order book reading are in the 60th percentile and foreign order books have slipped to their 35th percentile. New orders at 56.9% stand above their midpoint at the 56.9th percentile.

Despite some slippage in the year over year reading most of the index levels for January are still very near their respective 12-month averages. The Bank of France views the index as a positive in the outlook for growth in Q1. However the index is clearly losing its momentum.

Bank of France Monthly INDUSTRY Survey: SUMMARY
        12 MO Since Jan-87 2Yr Percentile
  Jan-08 Dec-07 Nov-07 AVERAGE Average rank/range
Production-latest mo
Total Industry 19.07 -4.08 3.83 8 7 98.0%
Production Outlook
Total Industry 16.57 21.79 15.87 16 15 64.1%
Demand
Overall order books 25.35 25.66 27.43 27 4 60.1%
Foreign Orders 10.97 8.95 8.59 11 9 35.0%
New Orders
Total Industry 12.53 9.55 7.9 11 9 56.9%
Stocks: Finished Goods
Total Industry -1.88 -4.77 -2.87 -3 -2 63.4%
Capacity Utilization 83.44 80.83 83.69 84 83 62.1%
Hiring
Latest Mo 2.44 -1.55 1.01 0 -1 98.0%
Outlook -1.7 -0.81 -0.89 -2 -4 74.4%
Industry Sentiment Index 106.62 105.8 108.01 108 107 45.6%
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