Tuesday August 14 2018
French Q2 Jobless Rate Inches Lower to 9.2%
Insee l Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The unemployment rate in French fell slightly to 9.1 percent in the June quarter of 2018 from 9.2 percent in the previous period while market estimated 9.2 percent. Meantime, the employment rate increased by 0.1 points to 65.8 percent, its highest since early 1980s; while the activity rate was stable, remaining at the highest figure since the beginning of the series in 1975.

The average ILO unemployment rate in metropolitan French and the overseas departments (excluding Mayotte) came in at 9.1 percent in the three months to June 2018, down slightly from 9.2 percent in the previous period. In metropolitan French only, the unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points from the preceding quarter to 8.7 percent, as the number of unemployed went down by 48,000 to 2.5 million. The unemployment increased 0.1 percentage points and the activity rate was stable. The unemployment rate declined among youths and persons aged 25 to 49, while it was stable for those aged 50 and over. Among unemployed, 1 million were seeking a job for at least one year. The long-term unemployment rate  came in at 3.6 percent, the same as in the March quarter and fell by 0.4 points from a year earlier.

In the second quarter, the employment rate of the population aged 15-64 years stood at 65.8 percent, its highest level since early 1980s. It was virtually stable (0.1 percentage points) compared to Q1 2018 and increased by 0.4 percentage points year on year. Over the quarter, it increased by 0.3 points for persons aged 25 to 49 and was practically stable among other age groups.

About 5.8 percent of the employed persons were underemployed, meaning that they had a part-time job but wished to work more. The ratio decreased by 0.1 percentage points compared to Q1, and by 0.2 percentage points  year on year.

The activity rate of people aged 15-64 was stable at 72.2 percent, remaining its highest level since the beginning of the series in 1975. It increased by 0.2 percentage points compared to Q2 2017. Among inactive people, 1.5 million persons wished to work without being considered as unemployed according to the ILO definition: they made up the halo of unemployment. Their number fell by 19,000 compared to Q1 and by 25,000 compared to Q2 2017.




Tuesday August 07 2018
France Posts Largest Trade Gap in 16 Months
Ministère de l'Économie et des Finances | Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

The French trade deficit widened to EUR 6.2 billion in June 2018 from 6.0 billion in May and above market consensus of a EUR 5.1 billion gap. It was the largest trade deficit since February 2017 as imports hit an all-time high.

Imports increased 1.4 percent from a month earlier to a record high of EUR 47.2 billion in June, following a 0.1 percent drop in the prior month, driven by higher purchases of natural hydrocarbons, mining products, electricity (19.8 percent). Other significant gains were also recorded in refined oil (6 percent); jewelry, toys, furniture (6.1 percent); metallurgical and metal products (2.1 percent); and pharmaceutical products (1.5 percent).

Among major trading partners, purchases increased primarily from Germany (0.8 percent); Italy (2.4 percent); Belgium (1 percent) and the US (5.9 percent). On the other hand, imports-arrivals fell from China (-2.3 percent).

Exports advanced at a softer 1 percent to EUR 40.9 billion in June, reversing a 2 percent fall in May. Sales rose mostly for pharmaceutical products (14.7 percent); aerospace products (6.2 percent); works of art, technical documentation, publishing products (6.4 percent); and natural hydrocarbons, mining products, electricity (6.3 percent). Other increases were also seen in automotive products (1.4 percent); wood, paper, cardboard (0.3 percent).

Among major trading partners, shipments went up mostly to Spain (2.9 percent); Italy (1.3 percent); Belgium (7.3 percent) and the US (0.6 percent) while they fell to Germany (-3.6 percent).




Tuesday July 31 2018
French Inflation Rate Jumps to Near 6-1/2-Year High
INSEE, France | Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

The French consumer price inflation is expected to increase to 2.3 percent year-on-year in July 2018 from 2 percent in the previous month, a preliminary estimate showed. It is the highest rate since March 2012.

Prices are expected to rise at a faster pace for: energy (14.3 percent vs 12.3 percent in June); services (1.3 percent vs 1.2 percent); food (2 percent vs 1.9 percent), of which fresh food (6.3 percent vs 5.9 percent) and other food (1.2 percent, the same as in June); and tobacco (16.8 percent vs 16.3 percent). In addition, manufactured product price deflation should ease (-0.1 percent vs -0.2 percent).
 
On a monthly basis, consumer prices are set to decline 0.1 percent in July after being unchanged in June, compared to market expectations of a 0.3 percent fall. This slight drop should come from a seasonal fall in manufactured product prices due to summer sales, parly offset by a rebound in services prices, essentially in airfares with the beginning of school holidays. Energy prices should slow down: those of petroleum products should fall back, but those of gas should accelerate sharply. Finally, food prices should recover slightly: those in fresh food should drop significantly less than in June and those in other food product should gather pace.
 
The harmonised index of consumer prices is expected to rise by 2.6 percent from the previous year (vs 2.3 percent in June); and fall by 0.1 percent month-over-month (vs flat reading in June).




Friday July 27 2018
French Q2 GDP Growth Weaker than Expected
Insee | Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The French economy grew by 0.2 percent on quarter in the three months to June 2018, the same pace as in the previous period and slightly below market consensus of a 0.3 percent advance, a flash estimate showed. The pace of expansion remained at the weakest level since the third quarter of 2016 mainly due to a drop in consumer spending amid a series of railway strikes and a string of national holidays.

In the second quarter of the year final domestic demand added 0.2 percentage points to GDP growth, namely gross fixed capital formation (0.2 percentage points) and government spending (0.1 percentage points), while household consumption subtracted 0.1 percentage points. Also, changes in inventories added 0.3 percentage points, but net foreign demand subtracted 0.3 percentage points.

Within domestic demand, fixed investment increased by 0.7 percent, much faster than a 0.1 percent rise in the previous quarter, mainly due to a pick-up in corporate investment (1.1 percent vs 0.1 percent in Q1). Also, government expenditure went up 0.4 percent, compared to a 0.2 percent gain in the prior quarter. By contrast, household spending contracted by 0.1 percent, following a 0.2 percent advance in the first quarter. It was the first quarterly drop in private spending since the third quarter of 2016, as consumption of goods continued to decline (-0.3 percent vs -0.1 percent) and that of services slowed (0.1 percent vs 0.4 percent). In particular, consumption of food products fell sharply (-1.3 percent vs -0.3 percent), as well as expenditures on energy (-1.7 percent vs 0.8 percent) due to temperatures higher than the seasonal norms in April. In services, the slowdown was notably driven by the downturn in transport expenses (-3.2 percent vs 1 percent), mainly in rail transport as a result of strikes.

Foreign trade balance contributed negatively to GDP growth, as imports jumped 1.7 percent (vs -0.3 percent in Q1) and exports grew at a softer 0.6 percent (vs -0.4 percent in Q1).

Year-on-year, the economy expanded by 1.7 percent in the second quarter, following a 2.2 percent growth in the previous three-month period. 




Thursday July 12 2018
France Inflation Rate Revised Down to 2% in June
INSEE, France l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

The French consumer price inflation rate came in at 2 percent year-on-year in June of 2018, unchanged from the previous month, but below preliminary estimates of 2.1 percent. It remained at its highest level since August 2012, as prices increased faster for both energy and food products while those of services slowed down.

Year-on-year, inflation rose for: energy (12.3 percent vs 10.0 percent in May) and food (1.9 percent vs 1.8 percent), mostly fresh food (5.9 percent vs 5.0 percent) as other food cost must remain steady (1.2 percent). Meanwhile, services prices eased (1.2 percent vs 1.5 percent) and manufactured products cost fell at the same pace (-0.2 percent).
 
Annual core inflation, which excludes public sector prices, the most volatile consumer prices and the tax measures, decreased to 0.8 percent in June from 1 percent in May.
 
On a monthly basis, consumer prices were flat in June, missing preliminary estimates of a 0.1 percent gain and following a rise of 0.4 percent in the previous month. Consumer prices were flat for : manufactured products (from 0.3 percent in May), services (from 0.1 percent), and tobacco (from - 0.6 percent). Main upward pressure came from: energy (0.9 percent from 2 percent).

The harmonized index of consumer prices went up 2.3 percent from the previous year; and were flat month-over-month.
 


Friday July 06 2018
France Posts Largest Trade Deficit in 15 Months
Ministère de l'Économie et des Finances | Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

The French trade deficit widened to EUR 6.0 billion in May of 2018 from an upwardly revised 5.2 billion in April and way above market consensus of a EUR 5.1 billion shortfall. It was the largest trade gap since February 2017, as shipments fell faster than purchases.

Exports declined 2 percent month-over-month to EUR 40.5 billion in May 2018, reversing a 2.9 percent increase in April. Sales dropped mostly for aerospace products (-19.1 percent);works of art, technical documentation, publishing products (-13.7 percent); automotive products (-4.8 percent), and computer products, electronic and optical (-3.3 percent). Other decreases were also seen in industrial and agricultural machinery (-1.2 percent); wood, paper, cardboard (-1.1 percent); agricultural products (-0.7 percent), and electrical and household equipment (-0.2 percent).

Among major trading partners, shipments fell mostly to Germany (-0.4 percent); Italy (-0.1 percent) and the US (-1.0 percent) while increased to Spain (0.9 percent) and Belgium (0.2 percent).

Imports edged down 0.1 percent to EUR 46.5 billion, following a 2.8 percent growth in the previous month, dragged by slower purchases of aerospace products (-6.9 percent), mainly from the UK. Other significant losses were also recorded in ships, trains, and motorcycles (-2.5 percent); pharmaceutical products (-2.3 percent); natural hydrocarbons (-2.1 percent), and perfumes, cosmetics, cleaning products (-1.2 percent).

Among major trading partners, purchases declined primarily from Germany (-3.4 percent) and Italy (-0.6 percent) while they advanced from China (4.5 percent); Belgium (7.9 percent) and Spain (1.9 percent).


Friday June 29 2018
French inflation Rate Ticks Up to 2.1% In June
INSEE, France l Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

The French consumer price inflation is expected to rise to 2.1 percent year-on-year in June of 2018 from 2.0 percent in the previous month, standing at its highest level since August 2012, the preliminary estimates showed. Prices are set to increase faster for energy prices and food products while those of services should slow down.

Year-on-year, inflation should pick up for: energy (12.2 percent vs 10.0 percent in May) and food (1.9 percent vs 1.8 percent), mostly fresh food (5.9 percent vs 5.0 percent) as other food cost must remain steady (1.2 percent). Meanwhile, services prices are expected to ease (1.3 percent vs 1.5 percent) and manufactured products cost should decrease at the same pace (-0.2 percent).

On a monthly basis, consumer prices are expected to increase 0.1 percent in June 2018, easing from a 0.4 percent rise in May, in line with market expectations. This lower rise should come from a slowdown in energy prices and a seasonal decline in food prices. In addition, services prices are set to advance at the same pace as in the previous month as the drop in the rent prices in social housing would be offset by a seasonal rebound in transport services prices. Up in the previous month, manufactured product prices should be stable in June. 

The harmonized index of consumer prices is estimated to advance 2.4 percent (2.3 percent in May); and by 0.1 percent month-over-month (0.5 percent in May).


Friday June 22 2018
French Q1 GDP Growth Confirmed at 0.2%
Insee l Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The French economy advanced 0.2 percent on quarter in the three months to March of 2018, unrevised from the second estimate and after a 0.7 percent growth in the previous period, final figure showed. It is the weakest pace of expansion since the September quarter 2016.

In the first quarter, positive contribution to GDP growth came from final domestic demand (0.2 percentage points). Meanwhile, net foreign trade had a negative contribution of 0.1 percentage points and changes in inventories gave no contribution to growth.

Within domestic demand, gross fixed capital formation rose by 0.2 percent, much slower than a 0.9 percent rise in the previous quarter, mainly due to a sharp slowdown in corporate investment (0.1 percent from 1.2 percent in the December quarter). In addition, household spending increased by 0.1 percent, following a 0.2 percent gain in the preceding period. Meantime, government expenditure went up 0.3 percent, the same as in the prior quarter.

Exports declined by 0.3 percent, reversing from a 2.4 percent growth in the prior quarter. Meantime, imports fell 0.1 percent, after a 0.3 percent rise in the previous period.

Year-on-year, the economy expanded by 2.2 percent in the first quarter, matching the second estimates  and following a 2.8 percent growth in the previous quarter.


Thursday June 14 2018
French May Inflation Rate Confirmed at Near 6-Year High
INSEE, France l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

The consumer price inflation rate in France rose to 2 percent year-on-year in May 2018 from 1.6 percent in the previous month, in line with the preliminary estimate. It was the highest rate since August 2012, as cost of energy surged and prices of food and services increased at a faster pace.

In May, cost of energy increased 10 percent year-on-year, after a 6.3 percent rise in April. In addition, prices rose at a faster pace for: food (1.8 percent from 1.6 percent), of which fresh food (5 percent from 3.9 percent) and other food (1.2 percent, the same pace as in April); and services (1.5 percent from 1.4 percent). Meanwhile, tobacco prices advanced 16.1 percent, compared to 16.5 percent in the previous month; while manufactured products prices fell by 0.2 percent, after a 0.3 percent drop in April.
 
Annual core inflation, which excludes public sector prices, the most volatile consumer prices and the tax measures, increased to 1 percent in May from 0.8 percent in April.
 
On a monthly basis, consumer prices increased 0.4 percent in May, matching preliminary estimates and following a rise of 0.2 percent in the previous month. Main upward pressure came from: energy (2 percent from 0.9 percent); food (0.9 percent from 0.1 percent); and manufactured products (0.3 percent from 0.1 percent). Services prices increased at the same pace as in the previous month (0.1 percent) and those of tobacco dropped by 0.6 percent after remaining unchanged in April.
 
The harmonised index of consumer prices went up by 2.3 percent from the previous year; and by 0.5 percent month-over-month.


Thursday June 07 2018
French Trade Deficit Unchanged in April
Ministère de l'Économie et des Finances | Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

The French trade deficit narrowed slightly to EUR 4.95 billion in April of 2018 from a downwardly revised 5.01 billion in March and slightly below market consensus of a EUR 5.3 billion shortfall.

Imports increased 2.5 percent from the previous month to an all-time high of EUR 46.5 billion in April, boosted by higher purchases of aerospace products (3.1 percent), mainly from the US; automotive products (3.5 percent), mostly from Germany, Spain and the UK. Other significant gains were also recorded in refined oil (29.3 percent); chemical products (5.9 percent); textiles and leather (4.3 percent); ships, trains, and motorcycles (6.6 percent), and pharmaceutical products (1.8 percent).
 
Exports went up at a slightly faster 3 percent to EUR 41.6 billion, as sales rose mostly for aerospace products (46.9 percent); computer products (14.7 percent); natural hydrocarbon (7 percent); automotive products (7.4 percent), and agricultural products (10.8 percent). Other increases were also seen in jewelry, toys and furniture (2.6 percent); electrical equipment and household (1.2 percent), wood, paper, cardboard (3.2 percent).