The French manufacturing industry recorded its best business sentiment in a year this month, the official French statistics agency, the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies, or Insee, said on Tuesday.
The monthly industry morale figure improved for the fourth consecutive month, reaching 95 and beating expectations of a 94 reading this month. July's 95 is the highest point since May 2012.
French President Francois Hollande said this month that a recovery in France is under way, even as unemployment remains at 10.9 percent, according to EU statistics.
French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici also declared that the recession was over, citing forecasts from the Bank of France and Insee for 0.2 percent gross domestic product growth in the second quarter, after a 0.2 percent contraction in the first quarter, Reuters reports.
“Now we need to work to transform this exit from recession into a genuine recovery,” Moscovici said on Europe 1 radio.
Still, the Insee statistics agency said, “In spite of a new increase in July, the general production outlook, which represents business leaders’ opinion on French industry as a whole, remains at a very low level.”
In a raft of other releases on Tuesday, the agency noted an uptick in the services sector and a continued depressed activity in the building industry.