News: French dairy manufacturer Bongrain and dairy co-operative Terra Lacta are in discussions over a potential joint venture (JV), reports Just Food, citing Bongrain's spokesperson. The discussions are reportedly regarding a JV in the Poitou-Charentes region of South-Western France. The JV will supply milk, butter and cream to Bongrain. However, any decision regarding the JV is not expected to be made before end-2012, the spokesperson added.
BMI View: The overall picture remains weak for France, with leading and coincident economic indicators within the household sector in particular showing signs of extended softness. As such, we prefer to refrain from calls for a sustained recovery until we start to see a more harmonious picture emerge. We remain comfortable in holding on to our current forecast for real GDP to contract by 0.2% over 2012.