December 21, 2018 / 8:12 AM / a month ago

French business morale hits two-year low amid December protests

FILE PHOTO: Customers stand next to shopping trolleys as they shop in a Carrefour hypermarket in Nice, France, April 6, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

PARIS (Reuters) - French business confidence plunged in December to its lowest level in more than two years as violent anti-government street protests rattled the retail sector, a monthly survey showed on Friday.

The INSEE statistics agency said its business confidence index fell to 102 points in December from 105 in November, hitting the lowest level since November 2016.

Confidence in the retail sector suffered particularly badly after Paris suffered some of the most violent protests in decades during crucial, pre-holiday shopping days this month.

The index for the retail trade sector fell to 100 from 107, hitting the lowest point since January 2015.

Meanwhile, confidence in the dominant services sector held steady from November at 104, while the index for industry fell to 104 from 105.

(This story fixes spelling in headline)

Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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