French consumer spending rebound beats estimates in February

PARIS, March 30 (Reuters) - French consumer spending rose 2.4 percent in February from January, bouncing back from a slump the previous month and increasing by more than expected, according to data released on Friday by the INSEE statistics agency.

A Reuters poll of 15 economists had forecast on average that spending rose 2.0 percent, with estimates ranging from 0.3 percent to 3.2 percent.

The increase, driven by a surge in spending on energy amid unseasonably cold weather, erased a drop of 1.9 percent the previous month. Food and clothing spending were also stronger.

Spending on manufactured goods, which excludes energy and food, rose by a more modest 1.0 percent from January, when it had decreased 1.2 percent.

For full details and data from INSEE: http://www.insee.fr/en/themes/info-rapide.asp?id=19

For consumer spending and morale graphic: http://reut.rs/2j4DCHX (Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)