Household consumption withstood the recession in 2009
French household-consumption expenditure withstood the recessionary conditions of 2009. It continued to rise, albeit at a still modest pace of 0.6% in real terms as against 0.5% in 2008. Household purchasing-power gains quickened from 0.4% to 1.6% owing to the massive deceleration in price growth from 2.9% to a negative 0.6%. But households added to their savings, probably for precautionary reasons. Expenditure growth slackened in most categories, with two exceptions: purchases of new cars, buoyed by the scrapping bonus, and purchases of life-insurance policies, which regained their attractiveness by comparison with other investment vehicles.