French business confidence at 14-year high in June

PARIS, June 24 (Reuters) - French business confidence surged to its highest level in nearly 14 years in June as the easing of coronavirus restrictions unleashed a service sector boom, a survey showed on Wednesday.

The INSEE official statistics agency said its monthly business confidence index rose to 113 from 108 in May, hitting its highest level since July 2007.

France fully reopened cafes, bars and restaurants on June 20 and ended a national night-time curfew on June 20, 10 days earlier than initially scheduled as infection numbers fell and a vaccination campaign gained speed.

Shops, museums, cinemas and theatres had already reopened on May 19, ending the country’s third nationwide lockdown since the pandemic emerged last year.

With the latest ebbing of restrictions, the confidence index for the service sector jumped to 113 from 107, also the highest since mid-2007.

Confidence in the manufacturing sector, which was less affected by COVID restrictions, levelled off at 107, unchanged from the previous month. (Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Toby Chopra)