Bloomberg News

French Consumer Spending Climbs for First Time in Four Months

July 29, 2011

July 29 (Bloomberg) -- French consumer spending on manufactured goods climbed for the first time in four months in June on expectations that growth will pick up after almost stalling in the second quarter.

Household spending on manufactured products increased 1.1 percent, after declining a revised 1.2 percent in May, national statistics office Insee said today in an e-mailed statement from Paris. The median estimate of 10 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was 0.8 percent.

The increase suggests that demand may rebound in the second half as a surge in energy prices subsides and leaves consumers with more disposable income. The improved purchasing power helped generate an unexpected increase in consumer confidence in July, the first this year, even after joblessness increased.

Consumers have “a better financial situation, most likely a combination of a decline in energy prices and a drop in consumption since last March,” said Dominique Barbet, an economist at BNP Paribas in Paris. The improved confidence “opens the prospect of a rebound” in spending in the third quarter.

--Editors: Philip Sanders, Jeffrey Donovan, Alan Crawford

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Deen in Paris at markdeen@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net.


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