French consumer spending climbs in August as shoppers splurge in sales

FILE PHOTO: People wearing protective face masks walk in a busy street in Paris as France reinforces mask-wearing in public places as part of efforts to curb a resurgence of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) across France, September 18, 2020. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - French consumer spending rose 2.3% in August, defying market expectations for a second straight month of falling expenditure, official data showed on Wednesday.

The average forecast in a Reuters poll of economists had been for a 0.2% fall in spending. Spending fell 0.9% in July.

Consumers spent 49 billion euros, the highest volume in more than a decade, the data showed.

The quicker pace was driven by an increase in food purchases and a surge in spending on clothing during delayed summer sales. Diesel and petrol consumption decreased on the previous month.

Reporting by Richard Lough; Editing by Gareth Jones