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).




Monday October 08 2018
French Trade Gap Widens Sharply in August
Ministère de l'Économie et des Finances l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

The French trade deficit widened sharply to EUR 5.6 billion in August 2018 from a revised 3.4 billion in the previous month and way above market consensus of a EUR 4.5 billion gap. Imports jumped 4.9 percent to a near-record of EUR 47.0 billion while exports were almost unchanged at EUR 41.3 billion.

Imports climbed 4.9 percent from a month earlier to a near all-time high of EUR 47.0 billion in August driven by purchases of metallurgical and metal products (10.3 percent), industrial and agricultural machinery (3.4 percent), computer, electronic and optical products (3 percent), and natural hydrocarbons, mining products, electricity (2.9 percent). Meantime, imports of automotive industry products fell 0.4 percent.
 
Among major trading partners, imports rose mainly from Italy (8.9 percent), Spain (3.3 percent), Belgium (3.2 percent), Germany (2 percent) and China & Hong Kong (1.6 percent).

Meanwhile, exports edged down 0.1 percent to EUR 41.3 billion in August as sales declined mostly for aerospace industry products (-24.7 percent). Still, there were increases in exports of chemical products (7.5 percent), industrial and agricultural machinery (7.2 percent), automotive industry products (4.6 percent) and food industry products (1.6 percent).
 
Among major trading partners, exports declined mostly to Spain (-4.2 percent), but went up to the US (6.3 percent), Italy (5.2 percent), Germany and Belgium (0.2 percent each).




Friday September 28 2018
French Inflation Rate Slows to 2.2% in September
INSEE | Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The French consumer price inflation is set to ease to 2.2 percent year-on-year in September 2018 from the previous month's near 6-1/2-year high of 2.3 percent, a preliminary estimate showed.

The slight decrease in inflation should come, on the one hand, from a slowdown in services (1.1 percent vs 1.3 percent in August) and energy prices (12.8 percent vs 13 percent) and, on the another hand, from a slightly larger drop in those of manufactured products (-0.2 percent vs -0.1 percent). Meanwhile, food prices are expected to rise at a faster 2.8 percent (vs 2.2 percent in August), driven by fresh food (11.4 percent vs 6.9 percent). Inflation is likely to remain unchanged for both other food products (at 1.4 percent) and tobacco (at 16.8 percent). 

On a monthly basis, consumer prices are expected to decline by 0.2 percent in September, following a 0.5 percent rise in August and compared with market expectations of a 0.1 percent drop. The downturn should be due to seasonal declines in the prices of some tourism-related services. Contrariwise, energy prices should rise over one month after a stability in August. Those of manufactured products should accelerate after the end, in August, of the summer sales in the metropolitan area. Lastly, food prices should be more dynamic than in the previous month.

The harmonised index of consumer prices is expected to rise by 2.5 percent from the previous year (vs 2.6 percent in August); and fall by 0.2 percent month-over-month (vs 0.5 percent in August).



Friday September 21 2018
French Q2 GDP Growth Confirmed at 0.2%
INSEE | Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The French economy advanced 0.2 percent on quarter in the three months to June 2018, the same pace as in the previous period and in line with the second estimate. The pace of expansion remained at the weakest level since the third quarter of 2016 as household spending contracted for the first time in seven quarters and net external demand contributed negatively to the GDP growth.

Final domestic demand added 0.2 percentage points to the GDP growth, in particular gross fixed capital formation (0.2 percentage points). Also, changes in inventories added 0.2 percentage points, while net foreign demand subtracted 0.2 percentage points (vs -0.3 percentage points previously estimated).

Within domestic demand, fixed investment increased by 0.8 percent, much faster than a 0.1 percent rise in the previous quarter, mainly due to a pick-up in corporate investment (1.2 percent vs 0.1 percent in Q1). Also, government expenditure went up 0.2 percent, compared to a 0.1 percent gain in the first quarter. By contrast, household spending contracted by 0.1 percent, following a 0.2 percent advance in the previous three-month period. It was the first quarterly drop in private spending since the third quarter of 2016, as consumption of goods continued to decline and that of services slowed. In particular, consumption of food products fell sharply (-1.3 percent vs -0.3 percent), as well as expenditures on energy (-1.8 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, mainly in rail transport as a result of strikes.

Imports surged 0.7 percent (vs -0.6 percent in Q1) and exports edged up 0.1 percent (vs -0.4 percent in Q1).

Year-on-year, the economy expanded 1.7 percent in the second quarter, in line with second estimates and following a marginally revised 2.2 percent growth in the previous period.




Thursday September 13 2018
France Inflation Rate Confirmed at 2.3% in August
INSEE, France l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

France's annual inflation rate stood at 2.3 percent in August 2018, unchanged from the preliminary estimate and the same as in the previous month. It remained the highest inflation rate since May of 2016, when prices showed no growth. Inflation was steady for services and tobacco.

Energy inflation eased to 13 percent in August from 14.3 percent in the previous month; while food prices rose to 2.2 percent, compared with 1.9 percent in July, boosted by fresh food (6.9 percent vs 6.4 percent) and other food products (1.4 percent vs 1.2 percent). Meantime, inflation was steady for services (at 1.3 percent) and tobacco (at 16.8 percent) while manufactured products prices fell 0.1 percent, the same pace as in July.

Annual core inflation, which excludes public sector prices, the most volatile consumer prices and the tax measures was unchanged at 0.9 percent in August, the same pace as in July.
 
On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose by 0.5 percent in August, recovering from a 0.1 percent fall in July and matching market expectations. The rebound came from a seasonal increase in manufactured product prices (1.1 percent from -2.8 percent), after summer sales in metropolitan area. Meantime, food prices accelerated (0.3 percent from 0.1 percent), in the wake of those in food excluding fresh products. By contrast, services prices sharply slowed down (0.3 percent from 1.1 percent), due to the seasonal downturn in airfares and the drop in communication services prices.
 
The harmonised index of consumer prices went up by 2.6 percent from the previous year (the same pace as in July); and by 0.5 percent month-over-month (vs -0.1 percent in July).
 
 


Friday September 07 2018
France Posts Smallest Trade Gap in 7 Months
Ministère de l'Économie et des Finances l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

The French trade deficit narrowed to EUR 3.5 billion in July 2018 from a downwardly revised 6.1 billion in June and far below market consensus of a EUR 5.7 billion gap. It was the smallest trade deficit since December 2017, as imports fell 4.4 percent to EUR 44.8 billion while exports rose 1.2 percent to EUR 41.3 billion.

Imports declined 4.4 percent from a month earlier to a EUR 44.8 billion in July, following a downwardly revised 1 percent rise in the prior month, dragged by lower purchases of aerospace products (-5.8 percent). Other significant loses were also recorded in refined oil (-24.1 percent); metallurgical and metal products (-8.8 percent), computer, electronic, and optical products (-1.6 percent), and wood, paper and cardboard (-1.2 percent). 

Among major trading partners, purchases decreased primarily from the US (-4.4 percent); the EU (-4.1 percent), namely from Germany (-1.5) percent), Italy (-7.8 percent) and Belgium (-2.9 percent). On the other hand, imports-arrivals increased mainly from China (0.9 percent) and Spain (0.7 percent).

Exports advanced 1.2 percent to EUR 41.3 billion in July, after a downwardly revised 0.9 percent gain in June. Sales rose mostly for aerospace products (27.3 percent); refined oil (20.1 percent) and pharmaceutical products (9.8 percent). Other increases were also seen in computer products (2.3 percent); metallurgical and metal products (1 percent); and electrical equipment (0.4 percent).

Among major trading partners, shipments went up mostly to Germany (2 percent); Belgium (2.4 percent) and the US (1.9 percent) while they fell from Spain (-3.1 percent) and Italy (-3.4 percent).
 


Friday August 31 2018
French Inflation Rate Unchanged at Near 6-1/2-Year High
Insee | Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The French consumer price inflation is set to remain at 2.3 percent year-on-year in August 2018, unchanged from the previous month's near 6-1/2-year high, a preliminary estimate showed. A slowdown in energy inflation was offset by a further increase in food prices.

Energy inflation should slow to 13 percent in August from 14.3 percent in the previous month; while food prices are set to rise at a faster 2.1 percent, compared with 1.9 percent in July, boosted by fresh food (6.8 percent vs 6.4 percent) and other food products (1.3 percent vs 1.2 percent). Meantime, inflation is expected to remain unchanged for services (at 1.3 percent) and tobacco (at 16.8 percent) while manufactured products prices should fall 0.1 percent, the same pace as in July.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices are expected to rise by 0.5 percent in August, recovering from a 0.1 percent fall in July and matching market expectations. The increase should mainly be due to a seasonal rebound in manufactured product prices after the summer sales in the metropolitan area, and to a seasonal rise in the prices of some tourism-related services. In addition, food prices should increase slightly, in the wake of food products excluding fresh products. Tobacco and energy prices should be stable this month. The slight rise in the prices of petroleum products and domestic gas should be offset by lower electricity prices.

The harmonised index of consumer prices is expected to rise by 2.6 percent from the previous year (vs 2.6 percent in July); and by 0.6 percent month-over-month (vs -0.1 percent in July).



Wednesday August 29 2018
French Q2 GDP Growth Confirmed at 0.2%
Insee | Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The French economy grew 0.2 percent on quarter in the three months to June of 2018, the same pace as in the previous period and in line with the preliminary reading, the second 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 and a negative contribution from external trade, while fixed investment rose firmly.

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 0.2 percentage points (vs 0.3 percentage points initially estimated), while net foreign demand subtracted 0.3 percentage points.

Within domestic demand, fixed investment increased by 0.8 percent, much faster than a 0.2 percent rise in the previous quarter, mainly due to a pick-up in corporate investment (1.3 percent vs 0.1 percent in Q1). Also, government expenditure went up 0.3 percent, compared to a 0.1 percent gain in the first quarter. By contrast, household spending contracted by 0.1 percent, following a 0.2 percent advance in the previous three-month period. 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 0.5 percent). In particular, consumption of food products fell sharply (-1.3 percent vs -0.3 percent), as well as expenditures on energy (-1.9 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 (-2.7 percent vs 1.1 percent), mainly in rail transport as a result of strikes.

Imports jumped 1 percent (vs -0.4 percent in Q1) while exports grew at a softer 0.2 percent (vs -0.4 percent in Q1).

Year-on-year, the economy expanded 1.7 percent in the second quarter, following a marginally revised 2.1 percent growth in the previous period. 


Tuesday August 14 2018
French July Inflation Rate Confirmed at Near 6-1/2-Year High
INSEE, France | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

France's annual inflation rate stood at 2.3 percent in July 2018, unchanged from the preliminary estimate and above June's 2 percent. It was the highest rate since March 2012, driven by higher prices of energy, services and tobacco.

Energy prices jumped 14.3 percent in July, following a 12.3 percent advance in the previous month, mainly boosted by cost of gas (17.3 percent vs 6.4 percent in June) and petroleum products (21.8 percent vs 21 percent). Additional upward pressure came from: services (1.3 percent vs 1.2 percent); tobacco (16.8 percent vs 16.3 percent); and food (1.9 percent, the same as in June), of which fresh food (6.4 percent vs 5.9 percent) and other food (1.2 percent, the same as in June).

Annual core inflation, which excludes public sector prices, the most volatile consumer prices and the tax measures, rose to 0.9 percent in July from 0.8 percent in June.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices declined 0.1 percent in July after being unchanged in June. This slight drop came from a seasonal fall in manufactured product prices (-2.8 percent) due to summer sales, partly offset by a rebound in services prices (1.1 percent), essentially in airfares with the beginning of school holidays. Energy prices rose at a softer pace (0.5 percent vs 0.9 percent in June). Finally, food prices recovered slightly (0.1 percent vs -0.2 percent).

The harmonised index of consumer prices rose by 2.6 percent from the previous year (vs 2.3 percent in June); and fell by 0.1 percent month-over-month (vs flat reading in June).


Tuesday August 14 2018
French Q2 Jobless Rate Below Forecasts
INSEE, France | Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The unemployment rate in France fell to 9.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018 from 9.2 percent in the previous period and below market expectations of 9.2 percent.

The average ILO unemployment rate in metropolitan France and the overseas departments (excluding Mayotte) edged down to 9.1 percent in the second quarter from 9.2 percent in the previous period. In metropolitan France only, the unemployment rate declined to 8.7 percent in the three months to June from 8.9 percent in the previous period, as the number of unemployed dropped by 48,000 to 2.5 million. The unemployment rate declined among youths and persons aged 25 to 49, whereas it was stable for those aged 50 and over. Among unemployed, 1.0 million were seeking a job for at least one year. Thus, the long-term unemployment rate stood at 3.6 percent, the same as in the previous quarter. 

The employment rate of the population aged 15-64 years increased by 0.1 percentage points to 65.8 percent in the second quarter, its highest level since the early 1980s. The employment rate rose by 0.3 points for persons aged 25 to 49 and was practically stable among other age groups. Over a year, it increased by 0.4 percentage points.

About 5.8 percent of the employed persons were underemployed, meaning that they had a part-time job but wished to work more. This share was close to that of Q1 2018 (-0.1 percentage points) and was 0.2 percentage points below year-on-year.

The activity rate of people aged 15-64 was stable at 72.2 percent, its highest level since the beginning of the series in 1975. Over a year, it increased by 0.2 percentage points. 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 decreased by 19,000 compared to Q1 2018 and by 25,000 over a year.