French unemployment approaches 2.5 million

29th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 29 (AFP) - French unemployment increased by 0.3 percent in March for the third straight month, but consumer confidence rose slightly in April, official data released Friday showed.

PARIS, April 29 (AFP) - French unemployment increased by 0.3 percent in March for the third straight month, but consumer confidence rose slightly in April, official data released Friday showed.  

At 2,487,000 jobless workers, unemployment approached the 2.5 million level last seen in February 2000, according to figures released by the labour ministry.  

The French unemployment rate calculated according to International Labour Organisation standards also gained 0.1 percent in March to 10.2 percent of the workforce.  

Junior labour minister Gerard Larcher told RMC radio: "Unemployment has not yet begun the decrease that we forecast for the end of the first half" of 2005.  

Meanwhile, a composite indicator of consumer confidence rose to minus 24 in April from minus 25 in March, according to a monthly survey carried out by the national statistics office INSEE.  

The indicator represents the balance in percentage points between consumers having experienced, or expecting, a rise in their living standard and those seeing a decline.   Economists polled by AFP's financial news subsidiary AFX News had been expecting consumer confidence to decline to minus 26 in April.

 

© AFP

Subject: French News

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