French Consumer Confidence Rebounds to 7-Month High | News & Analysis

PARIS, France — French consumer confidence levels rose in March to reach a seven-month high, according to official data on Wednesday, as the Eurozone’s second-biggest economy shows further signs of recovering from the “yellow vest” anti-government protests.

The INSEE official statistics agency said on Wednesday that its measure of consumer confidence edged up to 96 points in March from 95 in February, in line with forecasts from 16 economists polled by Reuters.

The March reading was the highest since the index reached 97 points last August.

INSEE said French households had expressed more confidence regarding their personal financial situation, and were more confident regarding their spending power.

Data earlier this week showed that the French economy kept up a relatively steady pace of growth in the fourth quarter despite the series of violent anti-government protests that has nevertheless hit business and consumer confidence.

The scrapping of a payroll tax for unemployment insurance has helped to boost households’ purchasing power, which has been a key demand of protestors who say they get pinched by hefty taxes and a high cost of living.

By Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editor: Mathieu Rosemain.

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