French consumer confidence hits lowest point since 2009

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French consumer confidence hit its lowest level since 2009 in November, official data showed Friday, in a further sign that the debt crisis is hitting morale in the eurozone's second biggest economy.

Official statistics agency INSEE said consumer confidence dropped to a reading of 79 in November from 82 in October, with consumers growing more pessimistic about their future living standards and employment prospects.

"The spread of the eurozone crisis has begun to worry French households," said HSBC economist Mathilde Lemoine.

The data was published two days after INSEE said French business confidence fell in November, with business leaders expressing a more pessimistic outlook for the economy.

President Nicolas Sarkozy's government has unveiled austerity measures in recent months as it tries to rein in debt and hang on to its prized triple-A credit rating.

© 2011 AFP

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