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French consumer confidence eases in August

FILE PHOTO: A man picks up his order for Christmas at the ‘click and collect’ service of the toy shop JoueClub Contesso in Nice as all non-essential stores are closed in France to combat a resurgence of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, France, November 9, 2020. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

PARIS (Reuters) – French consumer confidence eased marginally in August despite a surge in coronavirus cases and new rules requiring a health pass to enter many retail outlets, a monthly survey showed on Friday.

The INSEE official stats agency said its monthly consumer confidence index fell to 99 from 100 in July, just short of the average expectation for 100 in a Reuters poll of 10 economists.

With France facing its fourth coronavirus wave as the Delta variant spreads, the government began requiring people earlier this month to show proof of vaccination to enter cafes, restaurants, trains and big shopping malls.

Nonetheless, the survey found that the proportion of households considering that it is a good time to make large purchases remained stable in August above the long-term average while saving intentions rose for the first time in three months.

Concerns about unemployment were also unchanged from July with ‘help wanted’ signs increasingly popping up as companies face growing trouble finding staff.

The share of households expecting prices to rise in the coming months rose slightly as strained supply chains increasingly leave firms little choice but to raise their prices.

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