Friday, October 03, 2003

French Consumption Wilts in the Heat

I think it would be premature to draw any conclusions from this, since it was clearly very hot (I can still remember, phew), and this will have affected shopping. But still it is one more indicator.

This summer's heatwave has taken its toll on consumer spending in France, which suffered its sharpest drop in more than six years in August, raising the spectre of recession in the eurozone's second-largest economy. While the heatwave has already dented the popularity of prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, after thousands of people perished in the sweltering heat, the resulting drop in consumer spending may also undermine his room for manoeuvre on the economy.The Insee national statistics institute said France's consumer spending on manufactured products fell 2.7 per cent in August, against a rise of 1.1 per cent the previous month. The decline was accentuated by an 8.9 per cent fall in consumer spending on clothes and leather goods in August, as the French stayed away from high-street stores and put off buying sweaters, coats and boots ready for winter.
Source: Financial Times

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