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French Manufacturing Confidence Eases For First Time In 3 Months

France's manufacturing confidence weakened slightly in March, after remaining stable in the previous two months, survey data from the statistical office INSEE showed on Tuesday.

The factory confidence indicator fell to 102 from 103 seen in each of the previous three months. In November, the index reading was 105.

Economists had expected the score to remain unchanged in March.

Manufacturers' assessment of the past activity, export order books, and employment weakened. Production expectations improved slightly.

The overall business climate indicator, however, rose to 104 from 103 in February.

Morale improved in construction and remained stable in services and retail trade.

The confidence indicator rose eight points from January in the wholesale trade, which has a bimonthly survey.

The overall employment climate indicator improved to 108 from 107, mainly due to stronger hiring expectations in the services sector.

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