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Economy in Brief

French Morale Slips Then Falls Flat. Worst In Over 18 Years
by Robert Brusca February 28, 2008

French household confidence is at an all time life-of-series low. Living standards for the past 12 months are rated as the worst of this 18-year period.Expected conditions over the next 12 months are rated in the bottom 3 percent of their range. Unemployment still is not widely expected and the expectations reading stands in the 43rd percentile of its range. Price developments are in the top of their 18 range when assessed over the past 12 months but only in their 40th percentile looking forward. The environment for spending is weak, in the 27th percentile of its historic range. And the financial situation is sub par. The current financial situation is rated at the 47th percentile of its range, a moderate step below the midpoint (50). But the past 12 months are rated in the bottom 9 percent of its range and the next 12 months are rated in the bottom 7 percent of its range. Clearly consumers are having a great difficulty and are unsure of the future and generally more pessimistic.

INSEE Household Monthly Survey
          Since Jan 1990 Since Jan 1990
  Feb
08
Jan
08
Dec
07
Nov
07
%tile Rank Max Min Range Mean
Household Confidence -35 -34 -30 -29 0.0 215 10 -35 45 -17
Living Standards
past 12 Mos -68 -65 -62 -60 0.0 215 18 -68 86 -37
Next 12-Mos -42 -44 -32 -36 3.4 212 15 -44 59 -18
Unemployment: Next 12 11 9 6 13 43.6 160 73 -37 110 29
Price Developments
Past 12Mo 41 37 40 31 100.0 1 41 -57 98 -19
Next 12-Mos -23 -11 -23 -8 40.7 34 31 -60 91 -34
Savings
Favorable to save 24 28 29 26 55.6 100 40 4 36 23
Ability to save Next 12 -12 -12 -12 -13 37.9 145 6 -23 29 -8
Spending
Favorable for major purchase -26 -24 -23 -19 27.6 187 16 -42 58 -12
Financial Situation
Current 13 14 14 15 47.6 83 24 3 21 12
Past 12 MOs -25 -25 -23 -20 9.1 203 -5 -27 22 -16
Next 12-Mos -14 -14 -10 -9 7.4 213 11 -16 27 0
Number of observations in the period: 218
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