PARIS Nov 27 French consumer confidence
stabilised in November but remained well below its long-term
average as households continued to fret about their finances
amid rising unemployment and the threat of economic recession.
National statistics agency INSEE said its index of consumer
morale was unchanged in November at 84, beating a Reuters
forecast for a reading of 83 and marking the first stabilisation
in the index since June.
Household confidence had been declining steadily amid an
acceleration in jobless claims, now at a 13-year high, since
Socialist President Francois Hollande came to power in May.
Concern over personal finances rose in November versus
October, however, and more respondents said now was a good time
to save, reflecting ongoing uncertainty about the economic
climate that could weigh on spending in the months ahead.
The French economy registered a surprise 0.2 percent
expansion in the third quarter, confounding expectations that it
would contract after nearly a year of stagnant output.
Hollande's announcement in early November of measures to
bolster industrial competitiveness, including 20 billion euros
($25.93 billion) in annual tax rebates for companies, has helped
to lift spirits in the business sector and raised hopes among
the public that some jobs could be preserved.