France: GDP rebounds in the second quarter
After the economy contracted in the first quarter due to the impact of rising prices, GDP returned to growth in Q2: Economic activity bounced back, expanding 0.5% on a seasonally-adjusted quarter-on-quarter basis in the second quarter, above the 0.2% contraction tallied in the first.
Private consumption slid at a softer pace of 0.2% seasonally adjusted quarter on quarter in Q2 from a 1.2% contraction in Q1. Government consumption, meanwhile, dropped at the sharpest pace since Q4 2021, contracting 0.2% (Q1: 0.0% s.a. qoq). In addition, fixed investment growth was steady at 0.5% in Q2, compared to the 0.5% increase logged in the prior quarter.
Exports of goods and services growth fell to 0.8% in Q2, marking the worst reading since Q1 2021 (Q1: +1.6% s.a. qoq). In addition, imports of goods and services deteriorated, contracting 0.6% in Q2 (Q1: +1.2% s.a. qoq).
On an annual basis, economic growth waned markedly to 4.2% in Q2, compared to the previous period’s 4.8% expansion.
Looking ahead, analysts at the EIU expect GDP to swing into contraction in the coming quarters:
“We therefore forecast a recession in France, with small quarterly contractions in October-December 2022 and January-March 2023. This will drag growth in 2023 down to -0.3%. Economic activity will be held back by high inflation, weighing on consumers’ purchasing power; global supply chain disruptions dating back to the pandemic, including shortages of semiconductors; a subdued external environment, with US growth slowing considerably; and tightening monetary policy, with interest rates rising sharply across Europe.”