French manufacturing confidence hits post-crisis high

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French businesses showed no signs of election jitters as the country went to the polls in its presidential election this weekend with a key measure of private sector confidence holding at near six-year highs in April.

Overall business sentiment remained stable at 104 this month according to stats office Insee, led by French factories which reported their best confidence levels since the eurozone crisis hit in June 2011.

The manufacturing sub-index climbed three points to 108 this month – above its long-term average of 100 – and underscoring the resilience of a sector that has seen its growth hit six-year highs at the start of the year, according to a key private sector survey.

France’s broader economy has also held up well in its election run up, boosted by higher consumption, rising foreign and domestic demand, and a competitive exchange rate.

Investors have also been cheered by the result of Sunday’s first round vote which placed centrist Emmanuel Macron in pole position to become president in a final run off against Marine Le Pen in less than two weeks.

With the risks of a potential “Frexit” fading, investors have begun to refocus on France’s brightening economic outlook. The euro hit five-month highs yesterday while French stocks enjoyed their best day of trading since December.

Chart via Bloomberg

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