France: Consumer confidence records worst reading since October 2014 in May
Consumer confidence fell to 86.0 in May from April’s 87.0. May’s result marked the weakest performance since October 2014. As such, the index remained entrenched below the 100-threshold—its long-term average—signaling sustained pessimism among consumers.
The headline print largely reflected a deterioration in sentiment with regard to the general economic situation over the next 12 months. Moreover, household’s assessment over their standard of living in the past and next 12 months deteriorated in the same month. In contrast, consumers’ views regarding unemployment over the next 12 months improved.
Commenting on the two-speed recovery in the French economy, Charlotte de Montpellier, senior economist at ING, commented:
“The real question is whether the service sector will be able to continue to play its role as a fast-moving engine to counterbalance the weakness of industry […]. It is likely that it can continue to act as a driver until the end of the summer, thanks to the very good tourist season ahead, before losing momentum significantly at the end of the year. Ultimately, we continue to expect a negative growth figure in the second quarter, before a moderate recovery, which should lead to French GDP growth of 2.7% for the year as a whole.”