PARIS: Consumer confidence improved in France during December, but shoppers remain more keen to save than spend, new figures show.

The regular barometer of popular opinion collated by INSEE, the government statistics body, stood at 86 points in December, a lift of two points month on month, but still behind the long term average of 100 points, which is based on data going back to 1987.

When assessing their personal financial situation over the past 12 months and for the forthcoming year, scores from the panel both rose by two points month on month, albeit to negative totals of –29 points and –22 points in turn.

Similarly, perceptions of the national economic climate stood at –69 points for 2012 and –53 points for 2013.

As a consequence, the reading for making major purchases came in at –27 points, having hovered around this level for each of the last four months.

In a further indication of this lack of willingness to spend, this index stood at –14 points over the period from 1987.

The opposing trend was observable with regard to the potential to save money, where ratings improved by one point to 18 points, more than double the average of eight points.

Among the other issues concerning respondents was rising unemployment, where figures reached 71 points for the next 12 months, more than offsetting a decline in anxiety with regard to inflation.

Data sourced from INSEE; additional content by Warc staff