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French Business Confidence Improves Unexpectedly

France's business confidence improved in November, defying expectations for a weakening, preliminary data from the statistical office INSEE showed Wednesday. The composite business confidence indicator rose to 109 from 107 logged in each of the previous two months. Economists had expected the reading to ease to 106. The reading remained above its long term average of 100. INSEE attributed the latest improvement mostly to the rise in the balance on foreign order-books and, partly to the increase in the balances on overall order-books and on expected production. In addition, the balance on the expected trend in selling prices, already very high, has increased very strongly this month, the statistical office said. The foreign order book balance climbed to -3 from -15, marking the highest level since July 2018, and the total order book balance rose to -4 from -7. The former increased driven by an improvement in the further demand for transport equipment. The personal productions sub-index rose to 20 from 17, while the general productions measure dropped to 20 from 21. The index reflecting the expected trend in selling prices surged to record high of 47 from 27.

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