France Slips Into Shallow Recession in Q1

In Q1 2013, French growth domestic product in volume decreased again: –0.2% after –0.2% in Q4 2012. It is the third decrease in the last four quarters.

Household consumption expenditure was almost stable (–0.1% after 0.0%), meanwhile gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) was still diminishing (–0.9% after –0.8%). Overall, total domestic expenditure (excluding change in inventories) slightly decreased, weighing down GDP growth by –0.1 point.

Exports declined (–0.5% after –0.7%), while imports reached near stability (+0.1% after –1.3%). Therefore, foreign trade balance weighed down GDP (–0.2 point, after +0.2 point). Conversely, changes in inventories contributed positively to GDP: +0.1 point, after –0.3 point in Q4 2012.

In Q1 2013, output of in goods and services almost stabilized (–0.1% after –0.4%). Production in manufactured goods slowly decreased (–0.3% after –2.2%): output in transport equipment (–2.1% after –5.4%), and food products (–1.1% after –0.1%) sharply diminished whereas output in coke and refined petroleum upturned (+5.6% after –8.0%). Output in tradable services was flat (0.0% after +0.1%), but construction output went down again (–0.8% after –0.9%).

In Q1 2013, household consumption expenditure was almost flat (–0.1% after 0.0%) despite a rebound in energy, water and waste (+5.0% after –0.4%) due to a cold winter. Conversely, expenditure on manufactured goods was weakening (–0.9% after +0.1%), especially car purchases (–5.8% after 0.0%). Moreover, consumption of services remained sluggish (–0.1% after +0.2%).

5/15/2013 7:55:22 AM