France consumer confidence flat in May; Italian consumer sentiment up

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Paris, France (4E) – Confidence among French consumers stagnated at a record-low level in May, according to the results of a survey by statistics agency INSEE released on Tuesday.

The monthly poll showed that consumer confidence stood at 85 in May, unchanged from the previous month, and which is also below the long-term average of 100.

French consumers’ view of their ability to make huge purchases climbed by one point this month, but concerns about unemployment also climbed by one point, according to the survey.

Meanwhile, confidence among Italian consumers continued its rise in May, climbing to its highest level in over four years, as households continue to be optimistic about the future of the nation’s economy, according to a report by statistics institute Istat released Tuesday.

Tuesday’s results show that the government of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is inspiring the mood of the country. Italy’s consumer confidence index advanced to 106.3 in May from April’s 105.5 level, according to Istat. The figure for April was also revised up slightly.

The result for May, the third consecutive monthly gain, is the highest level since January 2010, although Istat changed some of the survey’s methodology last June.

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