French Q1 GDP Growth Holds Steady at 0.3%

The French economy advanced 0.3 percent on quarter in the three months to March 2019, the same pace as in the previous period and matching market expectations, a first estimate showed. Household consumption and fixed investment were the main drivers of growth while net foreign demand contributed negatively.

In the first quarter, both internal demand excluding inventory changes and changes in inventories contributed 0.3 points to the GDP growth, respectively; while net foreign trade contributed negatively (-0.3 points).

Within domestic demand, household consumption picked up (0.4 percent vs flat reading in Q4). Consumption of goods rebounded (0.2 percent vs -0.6 percent), mainly due to a rise in car purchase. Expenditures on energy rose (0.9 percent vs -0.3 percent) boosted by spending on fuel. Conversely, expenditures on food decreased sharply (-1.0 percent vs -0.2 percent). Meantime, consumption of services continued to rise (0.5 percent vs 0.6 percent), driven by spending on accomodation and food services. In addition, fixed investment went up 0.3 percent, following a 0.4 percent growth in the prior quarter as corporate investment growth accelerated slightly (0.5 percent vs 0.4 percent), as an increase in car purchases by businesses was almost offset by a decline in information, communication and business services. On the other hand, household investment kept falling, partly due to new housing (-0.3 percent vs -0.2 percent). Meanwhile, government expenditure advanced 0.1 percent, after a 0.4 percent rise in the previous period. 

Exports edged up 0.1 percent (vs 2.2 percent in Q4), while imports grew at a faster 0.9 percent (vs 1.2 percent in Q4).

Year-on-year, the economy expanded 1.1 percent in the first quarter, after a 1 percent expansion in the previous three-month period.

French Q1 GDP Growth Holds Steady at 0.3%

INSEE | Rida Husna |
4/30/2019 3:49:57 PM