France: Consumer confidence improves slightly
January 26, 2012
In January, the consumer sentiment index published by the National Statistical Institute (INSEE) rose to 81 points from 80 points in December, which had marked the lowest level since December 2008. The reading beat market expectations, which had the index remaining unaltered. Despite January's improvement, consumer confidence remains well below its long-term average of 100 points. Households were less downbeat about their own financial situation as well as the general economic situation. In addition, employment expectations improved. However, as consumers' saving intentions rose, their willingness to make major purchases deteriorated compared to the previous month. Low consumer confidence does not bode well for private consumption going forward.