In March 2016, households' confidence declines againMonthly consumer confidence survey - March 2016

In March 2016, households' confidence has weakened slightly after a downturn in February: the synthetic confidence index has lost 1 point and reached 94, its lowest level since August 2015. Thus, it has deviated further from its long-term average (100) over the period 1987-2015.

Informations rapides
No 83
Paru le : 25/03/2016
Prochaine parution le : 28/11/2017 at 08:45 - November 2017

In March 2016, households' confidence has weakened slightly after a downturn in February: the synthetic confidence index has lost 1 point and reached 94, its lowest level since August 2015. Thus, it has deviated further from its long-term average (100) over the period 1987-2015.

Personal situation

Financial situation: expectations decreasing again

In March, households' opinion of their past personal financial situation is stable compared to February. However, the expectations have worsened again: the corresponding balance has lost 4 points and has reached its lowest level since February, 2015. Both balances are below their long-term average.

In March, the share of households considering it has been a suitable time to make major purchases is the same as in February. The balance remains slightly above its long-term average.

Saving capacity: contraction

In March, households' balance of opinion on their current saving capacity has faltered (−2 points), thus hitting its lowest level since March, 2012. The one concerning their expected saving capacity has fallen by 4 points. The two balances are close to their long-term average.

In March, the share of households considering it has been a suitable time to save is the same as in February. The corresponding balance is clearly below its long term average.

graph1_english – Consumer confidence synthetic index

  • Source: INSEE

Tab_eng – CONSUMER OPINION: synthetic index and opinion balances

Balance of responses, seasonally adjusted
CONSUMER OPINION: synthetic index and opinion balances
2015 2016
Av. (1) Dec. Jan. Feb. Mar.
Synthetic index (2) 100 96 97 95 94
Financial sit., past 12 m. −21 −25 −24 −25 −25
Financial sit., next 12 m. –5 −7 −8 −10 −14
Current saving capacity 8 10 8 8 6
Expected saving capacity −9 −5 −7 −6 −10
Savings intentions, next 12 m. 18 6 2 −2 −2
Major purchases intentions, next 12 m. −15 –15 −6 −12 −12
Standard of living, past 12 m. −45 −55 −55 −57 −58
Standard of living, next 12 m. −25 −31 −25 −33 −37
Unemployment, next 12 m. 35 46 32 46 42
Consumer prices, past 12 m. −14 −52 −51 −55 −56
Consumer prices, next 12 m. −34 −38 −39 −38 −35
  • (1) Average value between January 1987 and December 2015
  • (2) This indicator is normalised in such a way that its average equals 100 and standard error equals 10 over the estimation period (1987-2015).
  • Source: INSEE, monthly consumer confidence survey

Economic situation in France

Standard of living in France: expectations declining again

In March, households' opinion on their expected standard of living in France has worsened again: the corresponding balance has lost 4 points, and reached its lowest level since February 2015. The balance on the past standard of living has diminished slightly (−1 point). Both balances remain clearly below their long term average.

graph2_english – Balances on personal financial situation and standard of living

  • Source: INSEE

Unemployment: fears receding

After a growth in February (+14 points), households' fears concerning unemployment have eased slightly in March (−4 points). However, the corresponding balance stays above its long-term average.

chomage_en – Households' unemployment expectations

  • Source: INSEE

Perceived inflation: at its lowest level

In March, households are slightly less numerous than in February to consider that prices increased during the past 12 months: the corresponding balance has lost 1 point and reached its lowest level since 1987 (starting date of the monthly series). However, more households consider that prices should increase during the next 12 months: the corresponding balance has grown by 3 points, and stands at virtually its long-term average.

prix_en – Households' perception of prices

  • Source: INSEE

Documentation

Methodology (pdf, 64 Ko)