France GDP Contracts 0.3 Percent in Q4

In the last quarter of 2012, French gross domestic product in volume stepped back (–0.3 percent), after +0.1 percent the previous quarter. Over the year, GDP growth was null in 2012, after +1.7 percent in 2011.

Households’ consumption expenditure slightly increased at the end of the year (+0.2 percent after +0.3 percent). Their growth are overcompensated by the new step back (–1.0 percent after –0.5 percent) of gross fixed capital formation. Therefore, total domestic demand (excluding inventory changes) was neutral on GDP evolution (after +0.1 point). 

Exports downturned in Q4 (–0.6 percent after +0.7 percent) and imports‘ decline increased (–0.8 percent after –0.5 percent). Ultimately, foreign trade balance contributed again positively to GDP growth in Q4 : +0.1 point after +0.3 point the previous quarter. On the contrary, changes in inventories continued to weigh down on GDP growth in Q4: –0.4 point, after –0.3 point the previous quarter.
In 2012 Q4, production in goods and service decreased (–0.5 percent after +0.3 percent). Production in manufactured goods stepped back (–2.3 percent after +0.9 percent) : except in food products, every activity contributed to this decrease, the sharpest one since 2009 Q1. Besides, production in tradable services held steady (0.0 percent after +0.3 percent) and production in construction declined (-0.8 percent after 0.0 percent). Over the year, total production remained sluggish: +0.1 percent, after +1.9 percent in 2011.

INSEE | Nuno Fontes |
2/14/2013 9:12:00 AM