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French consumer confidence falls to lowest level since April 2016

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French consumer confidence falls to lowest level since April 2016
FILE PHOTO: Shoppers walk with shopping bags as they take care of their last-minute Christmas holiday gift purchases outside department stores in Paris, France, December 23, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Platiau   -   Copyright  Charles Platiau(Reuters)
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PARIS (Reuters) – A measure of consumer confidence in France fell last month to its lowest level in more than two years, according to data from the official INSEE statistics body, in a further sign that the euro zone’s second-biggest economy may be stalling.

INSEE said its measure for consumer confidence fell two points from August to reach 94 points in September, marking its lowest level since hitting the 94-mark in April 2016.

A Reuters poll of 16 economists had given an average forecast of 97 points for the September reading. <FRCONC=ECI>

INSEE said consumers were less optimistic about personal finances. A rise in inflation, with benchmark oil prices near four-year highs, had also had an impact on consumer confidence.

Data published earlier this month showed that the French economy had meagre growth of 0.2 percent, the same as in the first quarter. The French government is expecting economic growth of 1.7 percent for 2018 overall.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Brian Love; Editing by Brian Love)

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