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French Business Confidence Falls Sharply

France’s business confidence deteriorated significantly in March as expectations regarding the economic outlook and production weakened due to the Russia-Ukraine war, survey data from the statistical office INSEE showed Thursday. The business confidence index for the manufacturing sector fell to 106 from 112 in February. Economists had forecast a score of 110. The reading was the lowest since April last year, when it was 103.5, but remained its long-term average of 100. The fall in the balance on the personal production expectations contributed the most to the decline in the headline index, INSEE said. The corresponding index hit its lowest since November 2020. The balance on the expected trend in selling prices rose sharply again to set a new high since the beginning of this series in 1990, outperforming its last record of December 2021, INSEE said.

The indicator reflecting the perceptions of uncertainty reached its highest level in almost a year.

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