French industrial confidence drops

■ Business morale in France’s manufacturing sector slumped to its lowest level in over two years, fresh figures revealed yesterday. The index, collated by French stats body Insee, dived to 85 on the headline measure, down from 90 last month. “Business leaders consider that the rhythm of activity remains very weak: the balance of opinion is very low,” Insee said.

“Looking at the personal production outlook, the business leaders are also pessimistic about their future activity.

Total and export order books decreased and are considered as very low.” Barclays Capital responded with a bearish note: “Business surveys have been deteriorating since mid 2011 and show little sign of stabilising so far.”