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French consumer spending drops unexpectedly in May

Staff writer |
French consumer spending decreased unexpectedly in May, marking its second consecutive monthly fall, figures from the statistical office Insee showed.

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Consumer spending dropped 0.7 percent month-over-month in May, following a 0.1 percent slight decline in April. Economists had expected a flat reading for the month.

In May, consumption of durables fell sharply by 3.6 percent after three months of sustained rise. Expenditure on energy slid 1.0 percent, reversing a 0.8 percent climb in April.

The rebound in food and textile-clothing consumption mitigated the overall decline, the agency said.

On an annual basis, consumer spending grew 2.2 percent in May, below economists' expectations for a 2.5 percent increase.

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