April 30, 2019 / 6:45 AM / 3 months ago

French consumer spending fell unexpectedly in March

PARIS, April 30 (Reuters) - Consumer spending in France fell unexpectedly in March as unseasonably warm temperatures kept energy spending down, official data showed on Tuesday.

The INSEE official statistics agency said that consumer spending declined by 0.1 percent in March from February, when it had fallen 0.4 percent.

Economists polled by Reuters had on average expected consumer spending to have risen by 0.5 percent, with estimates ranging from -0.3 percent to +1.7 percent.

A 1.7 percent drop in energy spending weighed on the overall figure, as spending on electricity for heating was kept down by the warm temperatures.

Meanwhile, spending on manufactured goods rose 0.8 percent, lifted in particular by durable goods such as new car purchases, added INSEE. (Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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