France: Consumer confidence continues to improve in April
April 24, 2012
In April, the consumer sentiment index published by the National Statistical Institute (INSEE) inched up to 88 points from 87 points in March. The reading surprised market analysts, who had expected the index to remain unchanged from March, and marks, in fact, its highest level since December 2010. Despite the improvement, consumer confidence remains below its long-term average of 100 points. Households were less downbeat about their own financial situation as well as the national outlook for the next 12 months. That said, consumers' willingness to make major purchases deteriorated a notch over the previous month, as households expect an increase in unemployment. Accordingly, households' saving intentions rose markedly. Subdued consumer confidence does not bode well for private consumption going forward.