PARIS: French consumers are feeling more pessimistic about the country's economy, according to the latest data issued by the Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques.

The INSEE consumer confidence index fell to minus 26 in December, down from -25 the previous month and the lowest reading since -28, recorded in June.

French citizens are concerned about falling living standards, rising unemployment and troubled finances.

Comments Societé Générale economist Olivier Gasner: "The deterioration ... unfortunately adds to other disappointing data, which could suggest that France is a bit out of step with other eurozone countries."

The economy was forecast to grow between 2% and 2.5% in 2006, though analysts have predicted it will come in at the lower end after a disappointing third quarter when it recorded no growth at all.

Data sourced from BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff