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France consumer spending saw biggest fall in nearly 2 years

Staff writer |
French consumer spending declined in November and at the biggest pace since the start of 2014, mainly due to lower energy consumption and weaker spending on clothing, the INSEE said.

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Household spending dropped 1.1 percent from October, when it fell 0.2 percent. Economists had expected a modest 0.1 percent gain. October's decline was the first in seven months and the figure was revised from 0.7 percent.

In November, energy consumption decreased 5.6 percent, which was the largest fall since June 2013 and came after a 2.2 percent increase in the previous month.

The average temperatures in November were particularly mild after being cooler in October, leading to a drop in heating expenditure, the INSEE said. Spending on textile-clothing fell 4.7 percent, declining for a third straight month and attributable to mild temperatures.

Expenditure on durable goods rose 0.5 percent after a 2 percent fall in the previous month. Car purchases edged up 0.1 percent after the 3.5 percent slump in October.

Households boosted their spending on food products for the first time in five months. Spending on such products grew 0.6 percent, largely led by increased consumption of manufactured food products.

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