Thursday December 13 2018
French November Inflation Rate Confirmed at 7-Month Low
INSEE | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

France's inflation rate stood at 1.9 percent in November 2018, unrevised from the preliminary estimate and below October's final reading of 2.2 percent. It was the lowest inflation rate since April, as prices of services, energy, food and tobacco rose at a softer pace.

Services inflation eased to 1 percent in November from 1.2 percent in the previous month, with upward pressure coming from health services (unchanged at 0.3 percent), transport (0.3 percent vs 0.5 percent) and other services (2 percent vs 2.1 percent), while declines were seen in communication (-3.6 percent vs -1.9 percent) and actual rentals and services for dwellings (-0.3 percent, the same as in October). Prices also rose at a slower pace for: energy (11.2 percent vs 13.8 percent) such as petroleum products (14.7 percent vs 20.7 percent); food (1.9 percent vs 2.2 percent) such as fresh food (5 percent vs 7 percent) and other food (unchanged at 1.4 percent); and tobacco (14.5 percent vs 16.8 percent).

By contrast, manufactured products prices continued to fall (-0.3 percent vs -0.4 percent), led by declines in costs of medical products (-2.2 percent vs -2.3 percent) and clothing and footwear (-0.1 percent vs flat reading). Meanwhile, other manufactured products prices rose 0.2 percent in November, after being unchanged in the previous month.

Annual core inflation, which excludes public sector prices, the most volatile consumer prices and the tax measures edged down to 0.7 percent in November from 0.8 percent in October.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices dropped 0.2 percent in November, also unrevised from the preliminary estimate and following a 0.1 percent advance in October. This downturn resulted from that in services prices (-0.3 percent vs flat reading) and in energy prices (-0.7 percent vs 1.8 percent). Food prices dropped by 0.2 percent, as in the previous month, the downturn in fresh food prices being offset by higher prices in other food products. Contrariwise, manufactured product prices rose by 0.1 percent after showing no growth in October.

The harmonised index of consumer prices rose by 2.2 percent from the previous year (vs 2.5 percent in October); and fell by 0.2 percent month-over-month (vs 0.1 percent in October).




Friday December 07 2018
French Trade Deficit Narrows in October as Exports Jump
Ministère de l'Économie et des Finances | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

The French trade deficit decreased to EUR 4.1 billion in October 2018 from a downwardly revised EUR 5.4 billion in the previous month and below market consensus of a EUR 6.0 billion gap. Exports jumped 6.2 percent to an all-time high and imports climbed at a softer 2.5 percent, also reaching a record.

Exports rose 6.2 percent from a month earlier to an all-time high of EUR 43.2 billion in October as sales increased mostly for aerospace industry products (7.4 percent), automotive industry products (2.7 percent), food products (3.1 percent), chemicals (8 percent) and industrial and agricultural machinery (2.3 percent).

Among major trading partners, exports grew mostly to the US (38.7 percent), Spain (4.4 percent), Italy (1.1 percent) and the UK (9.7 percent), but declined to Germany (-1.6 percent).

Imports increased 2.5 percent to a record EUR 47.3 billion in October, driven by purchases of automotive industry products (7.3 percent); industrial and agricultural machinery (4.1 percent); computer, electronic and optical products (4.9 percent); and chemicals (5.8 percent). Contrarily, imports of natural hydrocarbons, mining products, electricity dropped 7 percent. 

Among major trading partners, imports rose mainly from China & Hong Kong (9.5 percent) and Spain (10.5 percent), while there were falls from Germany (-1 percent) and Belgium (-2 percent). Imports from Italy were unchanged.




Friday November 30 2018
French Inflation Rate at 7-Month Low of 1.9% in November
Insee | Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

The annual inflation rate in France decreased to 1.9 percent in November of 2018 from 2.2 percent in October, a preliminary estimate showed. It is the lowest inflation rate since April, amid a slowdown in prices of services, energy, food and tobacco. Cost of manufactured products should fall less.

Year-on-year, energy prices are set to ease to 11.3 percent in November of 2018 from 13.8 percent in October and services cost should increase 1.1 percent, after a 1.2 percent rise in the prior month. Also, inflation must soften for food (1.9 percent vs 2.2 percent), mainly due to slowing prices of fresh food (5.0 percent vs 7.0 percent) and tobacco (14.5 percent vs 16.8 percent). Meanwhile, prices should drop less for manufactured products (-0.3 percent vs -0.4 percent).

On a monthly basis, consumer prices are expected to went down 0.2 percent, after edging up 0.1 percent in the previous month, in line with market expectations. The main downward pressure must come from lower cost of energy, after seven months of consecutive rise, in the wake of petroleum product prices. Services prices should also drop due to a seasonal downturn in airfares and a fall in communication services. Food prices must decrease, as in the previous month. Those of manufactured products should rise slightly after a stability in the previous month.

The harmonised index of consumer prices is expected to rise by 2.2 percent from the previous year, below 2.5 percent in the previous month; and decrease by 0.2 percent month-over-month (vs 0.1 percent in October).


Thursday November 29 2018
French Q3 GDP Growth Confirmed at Near 1-Year High
Insee | Agna Gabriel | agna.gabriel@tradingeconomics.com

The French economy advanced 0.4 percent on quarter in the three months to September 2018, following a 0.2 percent growth in the previous period and in line with the preliminary reading, the second estimate showed. It was the strongest growth rate since the last quarter of 2017, due to a rebound in household spending and a positive foreign demand.

Final domestic demand added 0.5 percentage points to the GDP growth in the third quarter; gross fixed capital formation (0.2 percentage points). Also, net foreign demand contributed positively to the GDP growth (0.2 percentage points), while changes in inventories subtracted 0.3 percentage points.

Within domestic demand, household consumption grew by 0.4 percent in the three months to September, rebounding from a 0.2 percent contraction in the second quarter. It was the steepest increase in private spending in a year as consumption of goods bounced back significantly (0.4 percent vs -0.4 percent in Q2) and that of services accelerated slightly (0.4 percent vs 0.1 percent). In particular, expenditures on energy recovered slightly (0.1 percent vs -2.3 percent) and consumption of food products stablised after two quarters of decline (0.2 percent vs -1.3 percent). In services, transport expenses bounced back markedly (3.4 percent after -2.9 percent) after a significant decline in Q2 due to strikes in rail transport. In addition, fixed investment increased by 0.9 percent, the same as in the previous quarter, with corporate investment (1.6 percent vs 1.3 percent), notably investment in IT activities and information services, as well as in automotive. Also, government expenditure went up 0.2 percent, following a 0.3 percent rise in the prior quarter. 

Exports surged 0.4 percent (vs -0.1 percent in Q2), while imports went down 0.3 percent (vs 0.5 percent in Q2).

Year-on-year, the economy expanded 1.4 percent in the third quarter, easing from a downwardly revised 1.6 percent growth in the previous three-month period and below a preliminary estimate of 1.5 percent.




Tuesday November 20 2018
French Q3 Jobless Rate Unchanged at 9.1%
INSEE | Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The unemployment rate in France stood at 9.1 percent in the third quarter of 2018, the same as in the previous period and slightly below market expectations of 9.2 percent.

In metropolitan France only, the unemployment rate was stable over a quarter, standing at 8.8 percent, with the number of unemployed increasing by 22,000 to 2.6 million. The unemployment rate rose among youths, especially among young men (up 1.0 point). It was stable for persons aged 25 to 49 and edged down for those aged 50 and over. Among the unemployed, 1.0 million were seeking a job for at least one year. The long-term unemployment rate fell to 3.4 percent in the September quarter from 3.6 percent in the previous period and 4.2 percent a year earlier.

The employment rate of the population aged 15-64 years increased by 0.1 points to 65.9 percent in the third quarter, its highest level since the early 1980s. It increased by 0.8 percentage points year-on-year. Over the quarter, it went up by 0.5 points for persons aged 15 to 24 and was almost unchanged among other age groups.

About 5.6 percent of the employed were underemployed, meaning that they had a part-time job but wished to work more. This share decreased by 0.2 points compared to Q2 2018, and 0.6 points over a year.

The activity rate of people aged 15-64 rose by 0.1 points to 72.3 percent, its highest level since the series began in 1975. It increased by 0.4 percentage points compared to Q3 2017. Among inactive people, 1.5 million wished to work without being considered as unemployed according to the ILO definition: they made up the halo of unemployment. The number was virtually stable quarter-on-quarter (up 8,000), and increased by 48,000 over a year.




Wednesday November 14 2018
France Inflation Rate Confirmed at 2.2% in October
Insee | Agna Gabriel | agna.gabriel@tradingeconomics.com

The annual inflation rate in France stood at 2.2 percent in October of 2018, the same as in the previous month and in line with a preliminary estimate. An increase in energy and services prices was offset by a slowdown in fresh food prices and a larger drop in cost of manufactured products.

Year-on-year, energy prices advanced further to 13.8 percent in October from 12.8 percent in September and services inflation increased to 1.2 percent from 1.1 percent in the prior month. On the other hand, food inflation slowed to 2.2 percent, compared with 2.8 percent in September, mainly due to lower prices of fresh food (7 percent from 11.2 percent). Meanwhile, inflation was steady for tobacco (16.8 percent, the same as in September) and cost fell faster for manufactured products (-0.4 percent from -0.2 percent).

Annual core inflation, which excludes public sector prices, the most volatile consumer prices and the tax measures increased to 0.8 percent in October from 0.7 percent in September.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose by 0.1 percent in October, recovering from a 0.2 percent fall in September and matching the flash estimate. The increase was mainly due to higher energy prices (1.8 percent from 0.9 percent in September). Meanwhile, prices showed no growth for manufactured products (vs 1.3 percent in September) and services (vs -1.5 percent in September). On the other hand, food prices edge down 0.2 percent, due to lower fresh food prices (-1.2 percent from 3.8 percent).

The harmonised index of consumer prices rose by 2.5 percent from the previous year (vs 2.6 percent in September); and went up by 0.1 percent month-over-month (vs -0.2 percent in September).


Thursday November 08 2018
French Trade Gap Narrows Slightly in September
Ministère de l'Économie et des Finances | Gabriela Costa | gabriela.costa@tradingeconomics.com

The French trade deficit decreased to EUR 5.66 billion in September 2018 from an upwardly revised EUR 5.70 billion shortfall in the previous month and below market consensus of a EUR 6.1 billion gap. Imports declined 1.6 percent while exports fell at a faster 1.8 percent.

Imports slumped 1.6 percent from a month earlier to EUR 46.1 billion in September, driven by a drop in purchases of automotive industry products (-7.5 percent); metallurgical and metal products (-5.6 percent); computer, electronic and optical products (-5.1 percent); and industrial and agricultural machinery (-1.7 percent). Contrarily, imports of natural hydrocarbons, mining products, electricity jumped 20.3 percent. 

Among major trading partners, imports declined mainly from Germany (-1.2 percent), China & Hong Kong (-4.3 percent), Italy (-1.3 percent), Spain (-5.5 percent) and Belgium (-0.9 percent).

Meanwhile, exports fell 1.8 percent to EUR 40.4 billion in September as sales declined mostly for industrial and agricultural machinery (-5.1 percent); automotive industry products (-4.6 percent); chemical products (-2.6 percent); and food industry products (-2.5 percent), namely meat & meat products (-4.1 percent) and fruit & vegetables (-3.2 percent). On the other hand, sales went up for aerospace industry products (4.1 percent).

Among major trading partners, exports declined mostly to Spain (-0.7 percent), Italy (-4.1 percent), the US (-11.8 percent) and Belgium (-4.3 percent), while edged up to Germany (0.3 percent).


Wednesday October 31 2018
France Inflation Rate Unchanged in October
Insee | Agna Gabriel | agna.gabriel@tradingeconomics.com

The annual inflation rate in France stood at 2.2 percent in October of 2018, the same as in the previous month and below market expectations of 2.6 percent, a preliminary estimate showed. An increase in energy and services prices was offset by a slowdown in fresh food prices and a larger drop in cost of manufactured products.

Year-on-year, energy prices are set to advance further to 13.8 percent in October from 12.8 percent in September and services inflation should increase to 1.2 percent from 1.1 percent in the prior month. On the other hand, food inflation is expected to slow to 2.2 percent, compared with 2.8 percent in September, mainly due to lower prices of fresh food (6.9 percent from 11.2 percent). Also, prices are set to ease slightly for tobacco (16.7 percent from 16.8 percent) and cost should decline more for manufactured products (-0.4 percent from -0.2 percent).

On a monthly basis, consumer prices are expected to rise by 0.1 percent in October, recovering from a 0.2 percent fall in September and matching market consensus. The increase should mainly be due to higher energy prices. Meanwhile, inflation should be steady for manufactured products while food prices are set to edge down, due to lower fresh food prices. Services prices should drop markedly less than in the previous month. 

The harmonised index of consumer prices is expected to rise by 2.5 percent from the previous year, the same as in the previous month; and by 0.1 percent month-over-month (vs -0.2 percent in September).


Tuesday October 30 2018
French Q3 GDP Growth Strongest in Almost a Year
INSEE | Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The French economy advanced 0.4 percent on quarter in the three months to September 2018, following a 0.2 percent growth in the previous period and missing market expectations of a 0.5 percent expansion, the first estimate showed. Still, it was the strongest growth rate since the last quarter of 2017, due to a rebound in household spending and increases in both fixed investment and exports.

Final domestic demand added 0.5 percentage points to the GDP growth in the third quarter, in particular household consumption (0.3 percentage points); gross fixed capital forrmation (0.2 percentage points). Also, net foreign demand contributed positively to the GDP growth (0.1 percentage points), while changes in inventories substracted 0.2 percentage points.

Within domestic demand, household consumption grew by 0.5 percent in the three months to September, rebounding from a 0.1 percent contraction in the second quarter. It was the steepest increase in private spending in a year as consumption of goods bounced back significantly (0.6 percent vs -0.4 percent in Q2) and that of services accelerated slightly (0.3 percent vs 0.1 percent). In particular, expenditures on energy recovered slightly (0.4 percent vs -2.2 percent) and consumption of food products stablised after two quarters of decline (0.1 percent vs -1.3 percent). In services, transport expenses bounced back markedly (3.7 percent after -2.9 percent) after a significant decline in Q2 due to strikes in rail transport. In addition, fixed investment increased by 0.8 percent, following a 0.9 percent rise in the previous quarter, on the back of corporate investment (1.4 percent vs 1.3 percent), notably investment in IT activities and information services, as well as in automotive. Also, government expenditure went up 0.2 percent, the same pace as in the prior quarter. 

Exports surged 0.7 percent (vs 0.1 percent in Q2), while imports rose at a softer 0.3 percent (vs 0.7 percent in Q2).

Year-on-year, the economy expanded 1.5 percent in the third quarter, easing from a 1.7 percent growth in the previous three-month period.



Thursday October 11 2018
France Inflation Rate Confirmed at 2.2% in September
INSEE, France l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

France's annual inflation rate fell to 2.2 percent in September 2018 from a 2.3 percent near 6-1/2 year high in August, unchanged from the preliminary estimate, and in line with market expectations. Inflation slowed for both services and energy, while manufactured products deflation deepened.

Prices eased slightly for both energy (12.8 percent from 13 percent in August) and services (1.1 percent from 1.3 percent) while manufactured products prices fell further than in a month earlier (-0.2 percent from -0.1 percent). Meanwhile, food prices went up at a faster 2.8 percent (vs 2.2 percent in August), driven by fresh food (11.2 percent vs 6.9 percent). Also, inflation was steady for both other food products (at 1.4 percent) and tobacco (at 16.8 percent). 

Annual core inflation, which excludes public sector prices, the most volatile consumer prices and the tax measures declined to 0.7 percent in September from 0.9 percent in August.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices dropped by 0.2 percent in September, reversing from a 0.5 percent rise in August and matching market expectations. The downturn came from a seasonal decrease in services prices (-1.5 percent from 0.3 percent). In contrast, manufactured products prices rose faster (1.3 percent from 1.1 percent) after the end of summer sales in August in the metropolitan area. Also, food cost accelerated (0.6 percent from 0.3 percent) and energy prices went up by 0.9 percent after being unchanged in August.
 
The harmonised index of consumer prices rose by 2.5 percent from the previous year (vs 2.6 percent in August); and declined by 0.2 percent month-over-month (vs 0.5 percent in August).