French consumer confidence improved for the first time in three months in April, as households’ future saving capacity and financial situation increased amid a sharp easing in inflation expectations, survey results from the statistical office Insee showed Wednesday.
The consumer sentiment index rose slightly to 83 in April from a revised 82 in March. The score was expected to fall to 81.
The index remained well below its long-term average of 100.
Households’ assessment of their own future financial situation improved marginally at the start of the second quarter.
Meanwhile, the index for past financial conditions remained negative, and the corresponding index fell to -32 from -31.
Consumers’ opinion on the general economic situation in the country over the next twelve months turned less pessimistic. The corresponding index rose to -61 in April from -64 in March, the survey revealed.
At the same time, French consumers’ view on future saving capacity strengthened significantly, with the relevant measure rising to 9 in April from 4 in the previous month. At the same time, the measure for their current saving capacity dropped to 14 from 16.
The major purchases intentions index lost two points from March to reach -42 in April.
Households’ opinion on the past evolution of the standard of living in France was almost stable. Similarly, the index measuring their fear about unemployment held steady at 16.
The gauge for the acceleration of inflation in the next twelve months eased considerably to -26 in April from -9 in the preceding month.
Data released earlier this month showed that France’s consumer price inflation eased to a six-month low of 5.7 percent in March from 6.3 percent in February amid a sharp slowdown in energy costs.
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