French GDP Growth Confirmed at 0.3% in Q4

The French economy advanced 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, the same pace as in the previous period, final estimate showed. Exports helped offset a weak household consumption while government expenditure advanced at a faster pace.

Within domestic demand, fixed investment went up 0.3 percent, easing from a 1.0 percent expansion in the prior quarter (vs 1 percent in Q3) as corporate investment growth slowed (0.3 percent vs 1.7 percent). Additionally, household investment dropped further (-0.3 percent vs -0.1 percent. In contrast, government investment advanced 1.0 percent, after a flat reading in the previous period. Household consumption stalled in the fourth quarter of the year, following a 0.4 percent growth in the prior three-month period. Meanwhile, general government expenditure increased 0.4 percent, higher than a 0.2 percent in Q3.

Exports increased 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter (vs 0.6 percent in Q3) and imports rebounded (1.2 percent vs -0.2 percent in Q3).

Year-on-year, the economy expanded 1.0 percent in the last quarter of 2018, easing from an upwardly revised 1.4 percent growth in the third quarter of the year. It was the weakest growth rate since the third quarter of 2016. 

Considering 2018 as a whole, the economy grew 1.6 percent, revised from a preliminary 1.5 percent expansion and compared to a 2.3 percent growth in the 2017. A slowdown was recorded in household consumption (0.8 percent vs 1.1 percent in 2017), fixed investment (2.9 percent vs 4.7 percent), government spending (1.1 percent vs 1.4 percent), exports (3.3 percent vs 4.7 percent) and imports (1.3 percent vs 4.1 percent). On the other hand, inventory changes contributed negatively to the GDP growth (-0.4 percentage points).

French GDP Growth Confirmed at 0.3% in Q4

INSEE | Stefanie Moya |
3/26/2019 9:02:15 AM