France GDP


GDP remains stable in Q2

According to preliminary data released by the statistical office (INSEE), the French economy stagnated in the second quarter of 2015. In Q2, GDP recorded a seasonally-adjusted flat growth over the previous quarter, which came in below the 0.7% expansion seen in Q1. The reading was the lowest since Q4 2014 and undershot market expectations of 0.2% growth. Year-on-year, GDP accelerated from a 0.2% rise in Q1 to a 1.0% expansion in Q2.

The second quarter’s stagnation was mainly the result of weak domestic demand. Private consumption grew an anemic 0.1% in Q2, which was below the 0.9% rise recorded in Q1. Government spending increased 0.4% in Q2, which was a tad below the 0.5% expansion recorded in Q1. Meanwhile, gross fixed investment contracted 0.3% in Q2 (Q1 2015: 0.0% quarter-on-quarter).

On a positive note, the external sector jumped to a positive contribution as exports of goods and services accelerated to a 1.7% rise over the previous quarter in Q2 (Q1: +1.3% qoq), while imports increased only 0.6% (Q1: +2.2% qoq). As a result, the external sector’s net contribution to overall economic growth swung from minus 0.3 percentage points in Q1 to plus 0.3 percentage points in Q2.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect the economy to grow 1.0% in 2015, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month's forecast. For 2016, panelists forecast economic growth at 1.4%.

Author:, Economist

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