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French consumer spending drops unexpectedly in February
March 31, 2017 / 6:54 AM / in 7 months

French consumer spending drops unexpectedly in February

A shopper carries a Galeries Lafayette shopping bag in their store in Paris, France, February 26, 2016. REUTERS/Mal Langsdon

PARIS (Reuters) - French consumer spending fell unexpectedly by 0.8 percent in February from January due to a sharp drop in energy prices after exceptionally warmer weather, data released on Friday by the INSEE statistics agency showed.

A Reuters poll of 10 economists had forecast on average that spending would rise 0.1 percent. Estimates ranged from -0.6 percent to 0.4 percent. FRGPC=ECI

With last February the warmest since 2007 and coming after the coldest January since 2010, energy prices dropped 10.9 percent in the month due to lower spending on gas and electricity for heating after a spike in the previous month.

Spending on manufactured goods, which excludes volatile energy prices, rose 1.3 percent on strong spending for clothes.

For full details and data from INSEE: here

For consumer spending and morale graphic, click - reut.rs/2j4DCHX

Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by GV De Clercq

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