Paris, France (4E) – Confidence among French consumers surprisingly climbed in March to match its level in July 2012, according to a report by statistical office INSEE released Thursday.
The measure for consumer confidence rose to 88 from 85 last month. Economists had expected the figure to stay unchanged from the earlier month. In February, the index had fallen from 86 in January.
Households’ opinion about savings surged in March. The measure for current saving capacity increased to 16 from 10, while the index for the expected saving capacity jumped to 2 from 7. Intention to save for the next 12 months fell slightly with the index falling to 20 from 21.
Consumers’ view of past financial situation rose to minus 30 from minus 32. The gauge for consumers’ outlook of the financial situation also improved to minus 17 from minus 19.
The number of households who felt it was a suitable time to make big purchases increased and they were less concerned about future joblessness. The view on past as well as future general economic situation also increased. Fewer households also felt that inflation is on the rise.
In February, the number of registered unemployed in France climbed to a new record high of 3.348 million, according to labor ministry data released Thursday.