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Economy in Brief

French Households Still Feeling Poorly
by Robert Brusca  May 26, 2011

The INSEE survey shows that the French household is not feeling very good about the economy. While the confidence metric did tick up it stands only in the bottom 7 percent of its range back to 1990.

Over the past 12-months living standards were assessed so low (-67) that they stood in the bottom 13 percentile of their range. The next 12-month ahead reading (form April) has living standards in the bottom 7.9% of its range. Consumers’ expectations are still very guarded. Price action past and future is assessed as in the top 90th percentiles range or higher.

Households say it is a favorable time to save with those responses in the 80th percentile of their range but as to their ability to save their assessment drops to the bottom quartile of its range.

What we see in France is the same picture we get from consumers around the Zone with the exception of Germany. Consumers are just not feeling the love from the economic expansion that has not been vigorous enough. High energy prices are probably partly to blame and the troubles in the Euro-Area with debt are partly to blame. Also, across the zone there are various political issues that are dimensionally different across countries, in many cases linked to various aspects of the European ongoing debt problems.

Consumers simply are not the backbone of the expansion.

INSEE Household Opinion Survey
  May-11 Apr-11 Mar-11 3Mo 6Mo 12Mo Percentile*
HH Indicator 84 83 83 83 84 85 7.1%
Living Standards
Past 12-Mo -67 -69 -68 -68 -69 -68 13.8%
Next 12-Mo -49 -55 -52 -52 -51 -49 7.9%
Unemploy:Next 12Mo 31 39 38 36 41 48 42.7%
Past 12-Mo 27 35 22 28 18 2 94.1%
Next 12-Mo (Apr) #N/A 0 8 4 -6 -17 96.8%
Favorable to Save 28 29 23 27 25 23 81.0%
Ability to save 12Mos -14 -16 -14 -15 -13 -12 23.7%
*Over range Since May-90
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