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Economy in Brief

Household Confidence in Near Free Fall in France
by Robert Brusca April 29, 2008

The INSEE household confidence reading is at its lowest mark since 1990. Living standards in the past and next 12-months are assessed as being in the bottom several percentage points of their range for the period. The same is true of the assessment of their financial situation by households.

Unemployment expectations remain subdued however in the lower 35% of their range and they are not on a clear rising trend either. Price developments are, however, high and rising reading in the 96th percentile of their range. The spending environment is assessed as beginning in the bottom quarter of its range since 1990. On balance French consumers are under pressure and showing some of the same conditions we see in Italy and in the UK. The last German assessment by consumers was up. So Germany has some very different dynamics in play despite the fact its industrial indicators are a tattered its consumers have gotten a second wind. The Euro Area is generally showing the impact from financial turmoil and high commodity prices along with a too-strong currency.


INSEE Household Monthly Survey
          Since Jan 1990
  Apr-08 Mar-08 Feb-08 Jan-08 Percentile Rank
Household Confidence -37 -36 -35 -35 0.0 215
Living Standards
Past 12-Mos -69 -71 -68 -65 2.2 214
Next 12-Mos -43 -40 -42 -44 1.7 214
Unemployment: Next 12 3 11 11 9 36.4 176
Price Developments
Past 12-Mos 56 60 43 39 96.6 2
Next 12-Mos -36 -41 -25 -12 26.4 108
Savings
Favorable to Save 24 25 24 27 55.6 101
Ability to Save Next 12 Mos -13 -16 -13 -12 34.5 161
Spending
Favorable for major purchase -28 -28 -26 -25 24.1 198
Financial Situation
Current 12 13 13 14 42.9 104
Past 12-Mos -29 -30 -27 -25 4.0 214
Next 12-Mos -16 -14 -14 -14 0.0 214
  Number of observations in the period 220  
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