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France: GDP expands modestly in Q3

December 23, 2015

More complete data released by the statistical office (INSEE) show that in the third quarter of 2015 the French economy grew a modest 0.3% over the previous quarter in seasonally-adjusted terms, which came in above the flat growth seen in Q2. The reading matched market expectations. Year-on-year, GDP grew steadily at Q2’s 1.1% in Q3.

The third quarter’s acceleration was mainly the result of stronger domestic demand, which more than offset a negative contribution of the external sector. Private consumption in Q3 grew 0.3% over the previous quarter, which was above the flat growth recorded in Q2. Government spending increased 0.4% in Q3, which was a tad above the 0.3% expansion recorded in Q2. Meanwhile, gross fixed investment recorded zero growth in Q3 (Q2: -0.1% quarter-on-quarter).

On a negative note, the external sector swung to a negative contribution as exports of goods and services fell 0.6% over the previous quarter in Q3 (Q2: +2.0% qoq), while imports increased 1.8% (Q2: +0.7% qoq). As a result, the external sector’s net contribution to overall economic growth swung from plus 0.4 percentage points in Q2 to minus 0.7 percentage points in Q3.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect the economy to grow 1.0% in 2016, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month's forecast. For 2017, panelists forecast economic growth at 1.4%.


Author:, Economist

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France GDP Chart


France GDP Q3 2015

Note: Quarter-on-quarter changes of seasonally-adjusted GDP and year-on-year variation in %.
Source: National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) and FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast.


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