7 days of Economics: France, a (temporary) slowdown
- Growth was limited to 0.3% in the first quarter
- Consumer spending is sluggish
- Investment is strong
The French economy grew by 0.3% q/q in the first quarter of 2017 according to INSEE's first estimate. This figure was slightly below what more upbeat confidence surveys were suggesting.
The weak areas (consumer spending was virtually stagnant and there was a marked fall in exports) were, however, explained by one-off factors (the weather, fluctuations in Airbus deliveries).
And they should not overshadow the strong points, notably the sharp rise in business and household investment.
Besides, this moderate growth figure does not call into question the strength of the ongoing French recovery, which is becoming jobricher, if we are to believe INSEE's new labour market climate indicator which is at its highest since 2011.