(Updates with jobs starting in first paragraph.)
Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- French consumer confidence unexpectedly rose for the first time in three months in October as households said their financial situation is improving as the job market strengthens.
A measure of sentiment increased to 82 in October from 80 in September, national statistics office Insee in Paris said today. Economists had forecast a reading of 78, according to the median of 11 forecasts gathered by Bloomberg News.
The figures suggest that job creation and wage increases are bolstering consumers in the face of the euro area’s sovereign debt crisis and looming budget cuts by President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government. Jobless claims dropped by 2,000 in August, the first decline in four months.
“Consumers’ opinions of their personal financial situation improved,” Insee said in the report. The numbers expecting an increase in unemployment are “notably smaller,” it said.
--Editors: Fergal O’Brien, Leon Mangasarian
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