CONSUMPTION

French households thrifty in December

According to France's national statistics institute, household spending on manufactured goods slipped 0.9% in December. Generally considered a reliable indicator of overall spending, the figure contrasts with 4.4% growth in 2007.

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AFP - French household spending on manufactured goods fell 0.9 percent in December from the November level and by 0.5 percent in the fourth quarter, the national statistics institute INSEE reported on Thursday.

For all of 2008, the pace of spending on manufactured products showed a sharp slowdown, rising just 1.2 percent after expansion of 4.4 percent in 2007.

Such spending accounts for only a quarter of household consumption but is seen as a reliable indicator of the general trend.

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