Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

French Businesses Shrug Off Brexit for Now as Confidence Gains

  • Executives in both industry and the wider economy report gains
  • IMF sees this year’s French growth stronger than in 2017

French executives brushed aside concerns about the U.K. vote to leave the European Union, reporting improving confidence in the first major survey of business sentiment since the British referendum.

Business sentiment rose two points to 102 in July, while sentiment among manufacturing executives climbed one point to 103, national statistics office Insee said Thursday.

French business confidence gains after Brexit vote
French business confidence gains after Brexit vote

The increase suggests that economic fallout from the neighboring U.K.’s June 23 vote to exit the EU has yet to be felt by businesses in France, which is currently on track to have its most robust expansion since 2011.

The economic pain may still lie ahead though. In its latest forecasts, the International Monetary Fund this week maintained its forecast for the French economy to grow 1.5 percent this year, while trimming expectations for 2017 to 1.2 percent because of concern about the impact of Brexit.

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