France: French GDP growth slows in Q4
March 26, 2015
More complete data released by the statistical office (INSEE) confirmed that the French economy decelerated in the last quarter of 2014. In Q4, GDP increased a seasonally-adjusted 0.1% over the previous quarter, which came in below the 0.3% rise seen in Q3 and was on par with market expectations. Yea-on-year, GDP decelerated from a 0.4% increase in Q3 to 0.2% expansion in Q4.
The fourth quarter’s deceleration was the result of slower growth in domestic demand. Private consumption grew 0.2% in Q4, below the 0.3% rise in Q3. Government spending increased 0.5% in Q4, a tad below the 0.6% expansion in Q3. Meanwhile, gross fixed investment continued to contract in Q4, although at a slower pace than in Q3 (Q4: -0.5% quarter-on-quarter; Q3: -0.6% qoq).
On a positive note, the external sector improved in the last quarter of 2014 as exports of goods and services expanded a robust 2.5% over the previous quarter (Q3: +1.0% qoq), while imports increased 1.7% (Q3: +1.7% qoq). As a result, the external sector’s net contribution to overall economic growth swung from minus 0.2 percentage points in Q3 to plus 0.2 percentage points in Q4.
In 2014, the French economy increased 0.4%, which matched the growth rate seen in 2013.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist