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Economy in Brief

French Household Confidence Is Dipping Again
by Robert Brusca  September 26, 2012

French household confidence edged lower in Sept to 85 from 86. At that level it is in the bottom 11% of all values back to Sept 1991. It’s a weak showing but not one that is continuing weaken that rapidly…still it is continuing to weaken and at this low level that is disturbing enough.

Living standards over the past 12 months are assessed to have been among the bottom 3% weakest That France has seen. Over the next 12-monhts standards are expected to be slightly worse, in the bottom 3.2 percentile.

Expected unemployment is in the top four percentile of its ordered queue of observations over the past 22 years. That is simply another measure of how weak things are and how concerned people have become

Prices are above the midpoint of their range with expected inflation in the top 13 percentile of its range 22-year. Oddly, the environment for savings is rated positively.

France is just another example of how the troubles in the Zone are migrating from the periphery to the core members. Just today the Bank of Spain has begun to announce that the economy is continuing to contract rapidly in the current quarter. As the fourth largest Zone economy this is going to weigh on the performance of the Zone and will have further knock-on effects for the other large Zone economies, like France.

INSEE Household Opinion Survey Sep-12 Aug-12 Jul-12 3-MO 6-MO 12-MO Percentile*
Household Indicator 85 86 87 86 88 86 11.1%
  Living Standards
   Past 12-Mo -77 -73 -70 -73 -70 -71 3.6%
   Next 12-Mo -56 -51 -45 -51 -42 -47 3.2%
   Unemployment Next 12-Mo 73 69 67 70 62 58 96.8%
  Prices
   Past 12-Mo 5 2 -2 2 8 15 62.8%
   Next 12-Mo (Apr) -13 -21 -28 -25 -29 -22 87.3%
  Savings
   Favorable to Save 30 27 23 27 26 21 88.9%
   Ability to Save 12 Mos -5 -5 -6 -5 -4 -6 83.4%
   *Over ranked queue Sep-91
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