France: Flat growth in Q2 confirmed
September 28, 2012
In the second quarter, GDP was flat over the previous quarter, which confirmed the preliminary estimate released on 14 August. On an annual basis, the economy expanded 0.3% in Q2, down from the 0.4% annual rise recorded in the previous quarter. The second quarter reading reflected how a slight improvement in the domestic sector, buttressed by stronger investment, was entirely offset by a negative contribution from the external sector. Private consumption fell 0.1% over the previous period (previously reported: -0.2% quarter-on-quarter), whereas government consumption expanded 0.4% (previously reported: +0.5% qoq). Meanwhile, gross fixed investment rose 0.5%, which was down from the preliminary 0.6% expansion (Q1: -0.8% qoq). In contrast, the net contribution from the external sector to overall growth deteriorated from a 0.1 percentage-point detraction in the first quarter to minus 0.4 percentage points in the second, as imports outpaced exports. Exports of goods and services rose 0.2% in Q2 (Q1: +0.1% qoq), while imports added a stronger 1.7% (Q1: +0.7% qoq). The government expects the economy to expand 0.3% this year and 1.2% in 2013.