France: Q1 grows at fastest pace in almost five years
June 29, 2011
According to revised data released on 29 June, Q1 GDP increased a seasonally adjusted 0.9% over the previous quarter, which represented a downward revision from the initial 1.0% expansion reported in the first estimate released on 13 May. The result tripled the 0.3% increase recorded in the fourth quarter and marked the fastest expansion since Q2 2006. On an annual basis, the economy expanded 2.2% in the first quarter, up from the 1.4% annual rise recorded in the previous quarter. The revision mainly reflected weaker private consumption, which expanded 0.4% (previously estimated: +0.6% quarter-on-quarter). Gross fixed investment rose 1.2%, up from the previously estimated 1.1% and well above the 0.5% expansion observed in the fourth quarter. Inventories added 0.7 percentage points to GDP growth (Q4 2010: -0.3 percentage points). Exports of goods and services rose 1.8% (previously reported: +1.4% qoq) while imports expanded a more marked 3.0% (previously reported: +2.7% qoq). Despite the slight revision to exports and imports, the net contribution of the external sector to overall growth was unchanged at minus 0.4 percentage points, contrasting the 0.3 percentage point contribution in the fourth quarter. INSEE expects the economy to expand 2.1% this year, according to its quarterly economic outlook from June, in line with the government's economic growth target of 2.0%.