French business climate sharply rebounds

The business climate in France rebounded significantly in February after two months of decline linked to restrictions over the Omicron Covid variant, the national statistics agency INSEE said Wednesday. The composite indicator for the major sectors of the economy rose by five points to 112, far above the long-term average, as well as the 105 points seen before the pandemic, INSEE said. The improvement comes largely from the service industry and “is mainly linked to the optimism of business leaders concerning both the global outlook for the sector and their own activity for the next three months,” it added. There was also optimism in the retail trade sector, where the indicator gained two points as sales prices rose. The building sector improved slightly with supply chain issues “easing a little”, INSEE said. The employment climate continued to improve, reaching 113 points — the highest level since 2008. INSEE reported last week that France’s unemployment rate fell to 7.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2021, below its level before the start of the pandemic.




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