French household consumption, one of the key motors of the country's economic growth, fell a sharp 0.9 percent in October, coming after a 0.5 percent decline in September, the National Statistics Institute (INSEE) reported Friday.
Amid tepid growth here, the latest figures will add to concerns about stagnating growth and the need to regenerate activity in France's economy, which is projected to grow by around 0.4 percent this year.
But INSEE noted that the household consumption index dropped in October largely due to a sharp fall-off in energy consumption, which retreated 6.0 percent due to lower spending because of the unseasonably warm weather.
Other sectors, like durable goods, an important element in the consumption index, showed relative stability in October after some marked declines in September and an otherwise mixed performance.
The consumer data comes just after France announced another sharp rise in jobless numbers, which are now well over 3.4 million, officially, and possibly closer to 5.0 million if partial unemployed and unregistered jobless. The official French jobless rate is around 10.2 percent.