French Industrial Confidence Drops to 15-year Low Point

Industrials belive activity will continue to fall.

French industrialists are the gloomiest they have been for 15 years, weighed down by the economic crisis and faint hope of prospects brightening soon, data from the official statistics institute INSEE showed on Nov. 25.

The INSEE index of industrial confidence showed a seven-point drop in November to 80 points from 87 points the previous month, the lowest level since December, 1993.

"These personal perspectives are at their lowest level in history," INSEE said. "The same goes for general perspectives, which represent the opinion of industrialists on overall industrial activity and which continues to fall" and which they believe will keep falling in the months to come, it said.

France has so far narrowly escaped recession, defined as two successive quarters of negative growth. But the OECD forecast that the country would fall into recession, with the economy contracting by 0.4% next year.

Leaders in manufacturing also reported a drop in orders and an increase in inventories far above their long-term average, INSEE said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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