French industry morale fell unexpectedly in October to its lowest level since early 2015 while confidence in the service sector held firm, a monthly survey showed on Wednesday.
The INSEE said that its overall index of business confidence fell marginally to 105 points from 106 in September, comfortably above the long-term average of 100. However, that masked diverging trends in the sub-sectors with the index for industry dropping to 99 from 102 in September, hitting the lowest level since March 2015. It also fell markedly short of expectations for an average reading of 102.
Meanwhile, the index in the service sector, which is much less exposed than industry to the vagaries of international trade, was steady at 106.
Until now France’s industrial sector has resisted a slowdown that has hit Germany industry particularly hard because it is far more dependent on exports, which have suffered in the face of global trade tensions.
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