French Business Confidence Climbs to Four-Year High on Services

French business confidence climbed to a four-year high as demand for services and retail sales helped support the recovery in Europe’s second-largest economy.

An index of sentiment among executives in services, retail, industry and construction rose to 101 in October from 100 in the past two months, national statistics office Insee in Paris said on Thursday. That’s its highest reading since Aug. 2011.

The increase suggests that France’s first tangible economic recovery under Francois Hollande’s presidency has resumed after lagging industrial production raised concerns about a slowdown in July and August. The finance ministry and the European Commission both predict full-year growth of about 1 percent in 2015.

This morning’s figures “show that the recovery is spreading,” Finance Minister Michel Sapin said in a statement. “This supports the prediction of 1 percent growth in 2015.”

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