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French Consumer Spending Gains as Job Outlook Helps Confidence

French consumer spending climbed more than economists forecast in September as expectations of better job prospects and higher wages boosted confidence.

Spending rose 1.5 percent from August, when it declined 1.6 percent, national statistics office Insee said in a statement from Paris today. Economists predicted a gain of 0.4 percent, the median of nine forecasts gathered by Bloomberg News showed. Spending increased 1.1 percent from a year earlier.

French consumer confidence has gained for three straight months as companies such as BNP Paribas SA and L’Oreal SA resume hiring during the recovery from France’s worst recession since World War II. While jobless claims remain near a five-year high set in May, pessimism about unemployment is diminishing and inflation expectations are rising, Insee said yesterday.

Concern about joblessness is receding, which is “consistent with the scenario of a continued recovery,” said Natacha Valla, an economist at Goldman Sachs in Paris.

France’s economy grew 0.7 percent in the second quarter, powered by consumer spending, government investment and exports. Insee reports third-quarter growth figures Nov. 12.

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