French demand for cars was strong in February, helping bolster overall consumption of manufactured goods, official data showed on March 21. Car purchases jumped 7.5% after a January slump of 9.2%.
Consumption rose for most manufactured products but was particularly strong for durable goods, up 3.3% after a fall of 4.1% in January.
The February data from national statistics institute INSEE showed household consumption of manufactured products rose 1.2% in February after a contraction of 1.3% in January.
For the last two years, consumption has been a key driver for the economy and indicators of consumer confidence are watched with particular interest amid widespread concern about a perceived fall in household purchasing power.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008