French business confidence weakened in October, monthly survey data from the statistical office Insee showed on Thursday.
The manufacturing confidence index fell unexpectedly to 93 in October from September’s revised score of 94. The expected reading was 96.0.
The indicator had been steadily recovering since May 2020 from its historical fall caused by the health crisis. Nonetheless, the score has remained well below its long-term level of 100.
The balance of opinion on personal production expectations worsened again in October. The corresponding index slid to 4 from 10 a month ago. Likewise, the indicator for general production expectations weakened to -12 from -3.
The survey showed that managers’ assessment on overall and foreign order-books worsened a little with the indices easing to -36 and -45, respectively. These two balances of opinion were markedly below their pre-crisis level.
Only the assessment of production over the last three months has positively contributed to the business climate. In October, the index advanced to 15, the highest since August 2018, from 7 in September.
Overall business confidence weakened in October driven by services and manufacturing. The business sentiment index came in at 90, down from 92 in September.
Elsewhere, a quarterly survey from Insee showed that both total and foreign demand over the last three months sharply picked up signaling that activity restarted after the lockdown.
However, demand prospects, both overall and abroad, have fallen back after a rebound in July.
Data showed that production capacity utilization rate in industry has continued to pick up. The indicator gained 3 points to 78 percent in October.