France: Consumer confidence improves in July
July 26, 2011
In July, the consumer sentiment index published by the National Statistical Institute (INSEE) rose to 86 points, after remaining stable at 83 points since March, and marked the first improvement of the year. The reading defied market expectations, which had the index edging down to 82 points. Despite the improvement, consumer confidence remains well below its long-term average of 100 points, which does not bode well for private consumption in the coming months. Households were more optimistic about their future personal financial situation as well as the future general economic situation, which is reflected in consumers' greater willingness to carry out major purchases. On a negative note, employment expectations deteriorated somewhat after improving since February.