France: GDP in Q1 expands at fastest pace since Q2 2013
June 24, 2015
More complete data released by the statistical office (INSEE) on 24 June confirmed that the French economy accelerated to a nearly two-year high in Q1. GDP increased a seasonally-adjusted 0.6% over the previous quarter in Q1, which came in well above the 0.1% rise seen in Q4. In annual terms, GDP accelerated from a flat reading in Q4 to a 0.8% increase in Q1.
Q1’s acceleration was the result of stronger growth in domestic demand. Private consumption grew 0.9% in Q1, which was above the 0.2% rise in Q4 and represented the highest value since Q4 2004. Government spending increased 0.5% in Q1, unchanged from the result tallied in Q4. Meanwhile, gross fixed investment continued to contract in Q1, although at a slower pace than in the previous period (Q4: -0.4% quarter-on-quarter; Q1: -0.1% qoq).
Exports of goods and services expanded 1.1% over the previous quarter (Q4: +2.8% qoq), while imports increased 2.6% (Q4: +1.8% qoq). As a result, the external sector’s net contribution to overall economic growth swung from plus 0.2 percentage points in Q4 to minus 0.5 percentage points in Q1.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist