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Economy in Brief

French Prospects Drop Sharply
by Robert Brusca November 17, 2008

The Bank of France Industry Sentiment Index is pointing much lower. At 77.14 it has fallen in October from 86.08 the month before. This compares to its 12-month average of 97. The index is weaker than this level only about 2 percent of the time. The latest production and production outlook indices are at bottom-scraping levels. Foreign orders and new industry orders are both at their lowest level since 1987. The hiring outlook is worse only about 20% of the time.

It is no wonder that, armed with this survey result, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde warned on the outlook. All of Europe is crumbling under the strain.

Bank of France Monthly INDUSTRY Survey: SUMMARY
        12 MO Since Jan-87 Percentile
  Oct-08 Sep-08 Aug-08 AVERAGE Average rank/range
Production-Latest Month
Total Industry -23.53 -20.09 8.2 -2 7 0.06
Production Outlook
Total Industry -18 -9 0 4 15 0.0%
Demand
Overall Order Books -22.61 -6.61 -2.17 10 4 22.5%
Foreign Orders -33.2 -28.65 -5.85 -3 8 0.0%
New Orders
Total Industry -35.36 -32.17 -1.49 -3 8 0.0%
Stocks: Finished Goods
Total Industry 3.62 0.35 1.26 0 -2 80.7%
Capacity Utilization 77.87 79.9 80.47 82 83 3.4%
Hiring
Latest Month -12.12 -6.62 -2.27 -3 -1 20.6%
Outlook -16.19 -9.93 -4.2 -5 -4 22.8%
Industry Sentiment Index 77.14 86.07 92.92 97 102 2.3%
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