More bad news for France

France’s run of bad economic news continues.

France’s third quarter GDP growth came in as expected at 0.3% on the previous quarter. But third quarter growth compared to the same time last year was slightly weaker than forecast, at 1.1% against expectations of 1.2%.

But the most worrying stat that came out today is a big fall in consumer spending, down 1.1% in November. Economists had penciled in a growth of 0.1%.

The drop in spending was not unexpected. Markit’s retail PMI — which surveys sales of 300 retailers — dropped to 47.8 in November, down from 51.9 in the previous month. Anything below 50 signals contraction and the November Markit figure was the sharpest retail decline in seven month.

But none of that will likely console Francois Hollande. The fall in consumer spending is the latest in a string of poor data that France has suffered through in recent weeks, including the highest unemployment rate for 20 years and service sector growth missing forecasts.

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