France's industrial confidence reading rises to 98 in August from 95 in July, more than economists had expected, in another sign economy is gaining strength

August 29, 2013 () – French industrial confidence unexpectedly climbed for a fourth month, suggesting that a recovery that began in the second quarter is gaining strength.

Sentiment among factory executives jumped to 98 in August from 95 in July, national statistics office Insee said today in a statement from Paris. Economists had expected a reading of 95, according to the median of 16 forecasts gathered by Bloomberg News.

The improvement aids President Francois Hollande, who’s trying to revive an economy that had barely grown in two years before expanding at a 0.5 percent in the second quarter. The government’s own forecasts still show that gross domestic product will be essentially unchanged in all of 2013.

“This confirms the improvement in the economy that has been under way in Europe and France for several months,” said Fabrice Montagne, an economist at Barclays Plc in Paris. “The rebound is quite strong, it’s good news.”

--Editor: Vidya Root, David Whitehouse

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