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French online Christmas budget seen down 2 pct from a year ago

PARIS Nov 22 French shoppers plan to spend less online on average this Christmas, the country's e-Commerce Federation (Fevad) said on Tuesday, amid caution in view of a still struggling economy and elections next year.

France's gross domestic product (GDP) rebounded less strongly than expected in the third quarter with a 0.2 percent rise, as consumer spending stalled.

Shoppers are expected to spend an average 195 euros online for Christmas presents, down 2 percent from a year ago, Fevad said in a statement.

However, online Christmas retail sales are expected rise around 10 percent year-onret-year to reach over 13.5 billion euros ($14.35 billion), as French shop online more frequently.

This would lift total online retail sales in France to over 71 billion euros in full-year 2016 from 64.9 billion in 2015, Fevad Director General Marc Lolivier told Reuters.

France is ranked as the fifth biggest e-commerce market worldwide. In Europe, only Britain is bigger.

In 2015, e-commerce represented an estimated 7 percent of retail sales in France.

($1 = 0.9411 euros) (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Maya Nikolaeva)

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