French business confidence at near 10-year high: survey

Paris (AFP) –


French business confidence hit a near 10-year-high in November, French statistics agency INSEE said on Thursday, providing a boost for President Emmanuel Macron.

The confidence indicator, based on a survey of French business people, rose two points in November to 111, its highest level since January 2008 and well above the long-term average of 100 points.

The jobs market, measured by employers' hiring plans, also improved in November, INSEE said, with its indicator rising one point to 109 to reach its highest level since 2011.

Macron, a 39-year-old centrist elected in May, pushed through a major reform of French labour law in September designed to encourage hiring and has staked his presidency on combating unemployment.

He is also benefiting from an improving economic climate that has seen growth pick up across the eurozone common currency area amid stock market gains.

The French economy chalked up a fourth consecutive quarter of strong growth between July and September with expansion of 0.5 percent year-on-year, led by a pick-up in household consumption and investment.

The growth figures published at the end of October suggested the eurozone's second-biggest economy was on course to achieve growth of 1.8 percent this year, meeting the government's target.