World Economy

French BCI Drops

French BCI DropsFrench BCI Drops

French business confidence fell to its lowest level in more than a year in May as strikes hampered refinery output and limited petrochemical supplies, Bloomberg reported. A gauge of sentiment among manufacturing executives dropped to 97 in May, it’s lowest since March 2015 and down from 99 in April, the Bank of France said Wednesday. The central bank cut its second-quarter growth forecast to 0.2% from 0.3%. Workers at refineries and ports blocked deliveries in late May and truckers halted traffic for a day to protest President Francois Hollande’s plans for a new labor law that would cut overtime pay and give executives more power in wage bargaining. In services, hotels and restaurants reported a decline in demand, bearing out concerns that the protests and the terrorist threat would keep visitors away. “This provides the first evidence that the strikes have affected the economy, even if the overall impact was limited,” said Maxime Sbaihi, an economist at Bloomberg Intelligence in London.