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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 December 2005, 12:43 GMT
French consumers boost spending
French butcher shows meat to a customer
The French consumer is demanding, as well as a key economic driver
French consumers returned to the shops during November, helping drive a higher-than-expected rise in spending.

Statistical office Insee said that consumer spending rose by 1.1% in November from the previous month, and by 3.2% from a year earlier.

Analysts were expecting a monthly figure that was closer to 0.5%.

While much of the data coming out of France shows a mixed picture, there are increasing signs that the economy is gathering momentum and recovering.

Supportive consumption

The consumer spending figures come after an earlier report showed consumer confidence had been dented by the riots that shook France in October and last month.

"These are positive figures and we have returned to a situation where consumption is supporting the French economy," said Alexandre Bourgeois, an economist at Natexis Banques Populaires.

"The figures once more prove that weak consumer confidence doesn't necessarily stop consumers from spending," he added.

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