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French consumer confidence weaker than expected in April – Metro US

French consumer confidence weaker than expected in April

People wear protective masks at an open-air market, in Paris
People wear protective masks at an open-air market, in Paris

PARIS (Reuters) – French consumer confidence fell more than expected in April although households’ concerns about inflation in the coming month months eased, a monthly survey showed on Wednesday.

The INSEE official statistics agency said its consumer confidence index fell to 88 points from 90 in March, hitting lows not seen since France was in coronavirus lockdown in 2020 and during massive anti-government street protests in late 2018.

That fell short of expectations on average for an improvement to 92 points in a Reuters poll of 10 economists.

The deterioration in April consumer confidence flies in the face of an improving trend that is usually seen in France at the time of presidential elections.

Emmanuel Macron won a new five-year term in a runoff vote on Sunday in a presidential election largely fought over voters’ concerns about surging inflation eroding their purchasing power.

INSEE’s survey showed that households’ revised up their level of concern about inflation over the past year to the highest level since 2008, but concerns about inflation over the coming year fell, suggesting that consumers may consider the worst is behind them.

In the face of high inflation, households’ outlook about the general economic situation deteriorated slightly while concerns about unemployment remained low, the survey showed.

(Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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