France GDP Growth Eases As Estimated In Q4

France’s economic growth eased as initially estimated in the fourth quarter, revised data from the statistical office Insee revealed on Friday.

Gross domestic product grew 0.7 percent sequentially, slower than the 3.1 percent growth posted in the third quarter. The rate came in line with the estimate published on January 28.

GDP exceeded the pre-crisis level by 0.9 percent in the fourth quarter.

On the expenditure-side, household spending and government expenditure rose 0.5 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively. Gross fixed capital formation was up 0.6 percent.

Exports were up 3.1 percent and imports gained 3.9 percent in the fourth quarter. Thus, the contribution of foreign trade to the GDP’s growth was slightly negative, by -0.3 points.

Finally, the inventory changes made a positive contribution of 0.5 points to growth.

On average over 2021, the economic activity rebounded strongly by 7.0 percent after contracting 8.0 percent in 2020.

Another report from Insee showed that household spending decreased 1.5 percent in January due to a 2.3 percent fall in manufactured goods consumption and the 1.2 percent decrease in food consumption.

Economists had forecast household consumption to fall 0.5 percent after a nil growth in December.

In a separate communiqué, the statistical office said retail sales volume except that of motor vehicles and motorcycles is set to fall 0.9 percent in January.

In December, the volume of sales in trade decreased 1.2 percent, following a 1.4 percent growth in November.

From November to January, retail sales are estimated to grow 9.2 percent from the last year, with a base effect due to the second lockdown.

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