World Cup fever boosts French consumption: official data

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Television sets flew off the shelves in France in May before the World Cup, pushing up French household consumption of manufactured products, official data showed on Thursday.

Sales of manufactured goods rose by 0.7 percent from the April level having fallen by 1.3 percent in April, the figures from statistics agency INSEE said.

Spending on durable goods surged by 3.6 percent after a slump of 4.5 percent in April.

Sales of cars, a key component of the data in France, were steady, showing a fall of 0.1 percent after a drop of 9.6 percent in April.

The overall figures were pushed up by sales of equipment for the home, driven mainly by what INSEE called a "world cup effect" on sales of televisions.

In addition, two regions of France switched to wholly digital television signals and this also pushed up sales of televisions and multi-channel decoding devices.

INSEE said that it now expected household consumption, a vital component of growth in France, to rise by only 1.2 percent this year.

This would be higher than growth of 0.5 percent in 2008 and of 0.7 percent in 2009 as the global downturn bit, but far below growth of 2.5 percent in 2006 and 2007.

© 2010 AFP

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