French consumer spending turns higher
French consumer spending turned positive in September, rising 1.5 percent after a fall of 1.6 percent in August as car sales picked up, official data showed Wednesday.
For the three months to September, household spending on manufactured items increased 1.2 percent from the previous quarter, the official statistics office INSEE said.
Economy Minister Christine Lagarde welcomed the return to growth after successive falls in the first and second quarters.
Lagarde said in a statement that the improvement reflected in part the positive impact of job creation over the past six months, coupled with auto trade-in incentives -- although these are now tailing off.
Auto sales jumped 11.2 percent in September.
BNP Paribas analysts said these figures were in line with other recent indicators, suggesting consumer confidence was positive in the third quarter and appeared to have continued so into the fourth.
© 2010 AFP