French consumer confidence unexpectedly rose in August after seven months of decline, as households' concerns about the rising cost of living seemed to wane despite high inflation, a survey showed on Friday.
The INSEE official statistics agency said its consumer confidence index stood at 82 in August from 80 in July. A Reuters poll of eight economists had an average forecast of 79 with the lowest estimate for 78.
"The indicator (...) is up by two points but remains far below its long-term average (100 between January 1987 and December 2021)," the agency said in a statement.
Although households' sentiment about the general economy remained well below the long-term average, it sharply improved in August after a months-long downward trend.
Ability To Save Money
Households also had a more positive view on their future ability to save money and seemed less concerned about unemployment, even though August figures are far below the long-term averages.
The share of households who consider that the standard of living in France has improved over the past twelve months has 'recovered significantly', INSEE added, while the share of households that expect the standard of living has also rebounded sharply.
Both balances are up by seven points, respectively, although they remain below their long-term averages.
In terms of future inflation, the share of households who believe that prices have risen over the past twelve months remains 'stable'. As in July, the associated balance of opinion has been at its highest level since the summer of 2008.