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French consumer sentiment steady in April despite lockdown

·1-min read
A person wearing a protective face mask shop in a toy store in Nice

PARIS (Reuters) - French consumer sentiment held steady unexpectedly in April despite a new round of lockdown measures this month to contain the coronavirus outbreak, official data showed on Wednesday.

The INSEE statistics agency said its monthly consumer sentiment index was unchanged from March at 94, beating the average expectation in a Reuters poll of 15 economists for a fall back to 93.

France, the euro zone's second biggest economy, started its third national lockdown at the end of March after suffering a spike in COVID-19 deaths and case numbers.

INSEE's survey showed that household pessimism about the general economic outlook remained the lowest in April since the outbreak started in March 2020, while concerns about unemployment were the lowest since April last year.

However, there was no indication households intended to stop stashing extra cash for a rainy day with those surveyed reporting savings intentions the highest since the monthly poll began in 1972.

(Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Edeiting by Raju Gopalakrishnan)