French official household spending stable

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French domestic demand, the key motor of the country's consumption-led economy, was stable in October after falling 0.2 percent in September, the state statistics agency INSEE said on Wednesday.

Compared to October last year, demand was down 0.9 percent, reflecting France's high and rising unemployment rate and President Nicolas Sarkozy's austerity programme, designed to rein in a massive public deficit.

French unemployment rose by 34,400 to 2,814 million job-seekers, the highest level since 1999, and the OECD predicts that the rate will pass the symbolic bar of 10 percent of the working population next year.

© 2011 AFP

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