World Economy

French Consumer Confidence Eases

French Consumer Confidence EasesFrench Consumer Confidence Eases

French consumer confidence eased slightly in May to 93 from 94 in April, the official INSEE statistics agency said on Wednesday, marking a pause after the index increased by a total eight points since last October. A Reuters poll of 20 economists had an average forecast of 95. The highest forecast was 96 and the lowest was 92. A sharp drop in respondees' perception of their ability to save dragged the index lower. The index, which is not closely correlated to consumer spending trends, hit an all-time low in May and June 2013 of 79. The highest level since the survey was conducted on a monthly basis was 125 in January 2001. Households' confidence in their ability to make savings both now and in the future dropped sharply, Insee said. Consumers' assessment of their recent financial situation also declined slightly. The monthly survey also showed that fears of unemployment fell. Fewer households surveyed said prices have risen recently, but inflation expectations rose in May, Insee added.