French consumer confidence unexpectedly rose in August after seven months of decline as households' concerns about the rising cost of living seemed to wane despite high inflation, a survey showed on Friday.
The INSEE official statistics agency said its consumer confidence index stood at 82 in August from 80 in July. A Reuters poll of eight economists had an average forecast of 79 with the lowest estimate for 78.
"The indicator (...) is up by two points but remains far below its long-term average (100 between January 1987 and December 2021)," the agency said in a statement.
Although households' sentiment about the general economy remained well below the long-term average, it sharply improved in August after a months-long downward trend.
Households also had a more positive view on their future ability to save money and seemed less concerned about unemployment, even though August figures are far below the long-term averages. (Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Dominique Vidalon and Raissa Kasolowsky)