French Consumer Confidence At 16-Month Low

French consumer confidence weakened to a 16-month low in May as households were concerned about general economic conditions amid coronavirus pandemic, survey results from the statistical office Insee showed Wednesday.

The consumer sentiment index fell to 93 in May from 95 in April. The score remained well below its long-term average of 100. This was the lowest since January 2019, when the score was 92. The share of households considering it is a suitable time to make major purchases has increased sharply in May, with the index rising to -45 from -60 in April.

The index measuring future financial situation gained one point to -20, and that related to their past financial situation lost 2 points to -9 in May. The share of households reporting it is a suitable time to save has increased in May. The corresponding balance advanced to 23 from 19. At -71, the indicator for future standard of living remained unchanged at the lowest level ever since the beginning of the survey.

At the same time, the indicator for the past standard of living decreased sharply to -48 from -31 a month ago. Further, households' fears about the unemployment trend increased very strongly in May. The corresponding balance surged 18 points to 79. Households assessing that prices were on rise during the past twelve months have been markedly more numerous than the previous month, Insee said.

The balance rose to -30 from -50. On the contrary, the households considering that prices will be on the rise during the next twelve months have been a bit less numerous than the previous month. The index came in at 6 versus 14 a month ago.

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