Friday November 08 2019
French Trade Gap Widens as Exports Fall
Ministère de l'Économie et des Finances | Stefanie Moya | stefanie.moya@tradingeconomics.com

The French trade deficit widened to EUR 5.55 billion in September 2019 from an upwardly revised EUR 5.44 billion in the previous month and compared with market expectations of a EUR 4.8 billion gap. Exports fell 2.3 percent month-over-month while imports dropped at a softer 1.8 percent. Considering the third quarter as a whole, the country’s trade gap was recorded at EUR 16 billion compared to a EUR 14.5 deficit in the previous period.

Exports declined 2.3 percent over the previous month to EUR 41.73 billion in September, mainly due to lower sales of mechanical, electrical, electronic and computer equipment (-1.8 percent), natural hydrocarbons, mining products, electricity (-3.5 percent), transport equipment (-8.3 percent), and art products (-5.8 percent). Meanwhile, sales rose for agribusiness products (7.1 percent), other industrial products (0.6 percent), agricultural, forestry, fishery and aquaculture products (7.1 percent) and refined petroleum products (31.3 percent).

Among major trade partners, exports fell to Germany (-1.7 percent), the UK (-9 percent), Switzerland (-0.9 percent), 
Poland (-3.7 percent), Japan (-9.7 percent), Russia (-25.2 percent), Italy (-2.3 percent), Belgium (-1.7 percent), and China & Hong Kong (-3.5 percent); but increased to the US (0.8 percent), Spain (1.5 percent), the Netherlands (4.4 percent), Portugal (4.9 percent) and Turkey (4.4 percent).

Imports went down at a slower 1.8 percent to EUR 47.28 billion, as purchases dropped for transport equipment (-8.9 percent), agricultural, forestry, fishery and aquaculture products (-8.7 percent), agribusiness products (-1.4 percent), and natural hydrocarbons, mining products, electricity (-17.4 percent). On the other hand, imports increased for mechanical, electrical, electronic and computer equipment (2.2 percent) and  refined petroleum products (1.8 percent).

Among major trade partners, imports decreased from Germany (-1.2 percent), Belgium (-4.4 percent), Spain (-1.5 percent), Russia (-25.3 percent), Czech Republic (-3.8 percent), Turkey (-2.4 percent) and Ireland (-10.5 percent); but went up from China & Hong Kong (1.1 percent), the US (5.5 percent), the UK (6.6 percent), Japan (1.2 percent), Italy (0.3 percent), the Netherlands (6.6 percent), and Switzerland (14.7 percent).




Thursday October 31 2019
French Inflation Rate at Over 2-Year Low
INSEE | Rafael Gonzalez | rafael.gonzalez@tradingeconomics.com

France's annual inflation rate is expected to fall to 0.7 percent in October of 2019 from 0.9 percent in the prior month, a preliminary estimate showed. That should be the lowest rate since July of 2017.

Energy prices are set to sharply fall 1.6 percent in October, compared to 0.2 percent in September; while food prices should advance 1.8 percent, slower than 2.1 percent in the previous month, on the back of a drop in fresh food cost (-0.1 percent vs 2.0 percent). Meanwhile, tobacco prices are expected to advanced faster (8.8 percent vs 8.7 percent) while manufactured products cost is likely to drop at a softer pace (-0.5 percent vs -0.7 percent).

Services prices, which account for almost half of the CPI, are expected to grow 1.2 percent, the same as in September. 

On a monthly basis, consumer prices should fall 0.1 percent (vs -0.3 percent in September). Energy prices should be stable, the rise in petroleum product prices being offset by an accentuated decrease in gas prices. Services cost should drop less after a sharp contraction in the previous month. Finally, food inflation should be steady while manufactured goods prices are set to slow down. 

The harmonised index of consumer prices is expected to rise 0.9 percent from the previous year (vs 1.1 percent in September); and fall 0.1 percent month-over-month (vs -0.4 percent in September).




Wednesday October 30 2019
French Q3 GDP Growth Beats Expectations
INSEE l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The French economy advanced 0.3 percent on quarter in the three months to September 2019, the same pace as in the previous two periods but above market estimates of a 0.2 percent growth, a preliminary estimate showed. Household consumption, government spending and fixed investment rose further while net foreign demand contributed negatively.

In the third quarter, internal demand excluding inventory changes  contributed 0.5 points to the GDP growth. Also, changes in inventories added 0.1 points. In contrast, net foreign trade contributed negatively (-0.4 points).

Within domestic demand, household consumption growth accelerated slightly (0.3 percent vs 0.2 percent in Q2), mainly due to the rebound of the consumption of goods (0.4 percent vs –0.1 percent). On the contrary, consumption of services decelerated (0.3 percent vs 0.4 percent), due to a slow in expenditure on accommodation and food services after a dynamic second quarter. Regarding goods, expenditures on engineered goods bounced back (1.6 percent vs –0.4 percent), driven by a rise in vehicle registration. Energy expenditures went back (–0.3 percent vs 0.8 percent). Finally, food expenditures decreased at a faster pace as in the previous quarter (–0.7 percent vs –0.1 percent). At the same time,  government spending rose by 0.4 percent, the same as in the June quarter. Fixed investment went up 0.9 percent, following a 1.2 percent growth in the prior quarter, as corporate investment grew at the same pace as the previous quarter (1.2 percent vs 1.1 percent), driven by expenditures in information-communication services and in transport equipment. Household investment halted (0.1 percent vs 1.6 percent), after the rise of real estate transactions in Q2 2019. 

Exports expanded 0.3 percent, reversing from a 0.1 percent fall in Q2; while imports grew at a faster 1.4 percent, compared to a 0.3 percent decline in Q2.

Year-on-year, the economy expanded 1.3 percent in the third quarter, following a 1.4 percent expansion in the previous three-month period.




Tuesday October 15 2019
French September Inflation Rate Confirmed at 4-Month Low
INSEE | Rafael Gonzalez | rafael.gonzalez@tradingeconomics.com

France's annual inflation rate was confirmed at 0.9 percent in September 2019, the lowest since May and below August's 1.0 percent, amid a slowdown in the prices of food and energy.

Food prices increased at a softer pace (2.1 percent vs 3.1 percent in August), particularly fresh products (2.0 percent vs 8.5 percent) amid a sharp slowdown in the prices of fresh vegetables (2.6 percent vs 16.8 percent). Also, energy cost slowed (0.2 percent vs 0.8 percent), as prices continued to fall for petroleum products (-2.6 percent vs -1.9 percent) and gas (-3.4 percent vs -2.2 percent). 

On the other hand, services prices advanced faster (1.2 percent vs 1.1 percent), as communication cost rebounded (0.9 percent vs -0.5 percent) while prices of “other services” accelerated (1.7 percent vs 1.4 percent). In contrast, transport prices rose less (0.8 percent vs 1.3 percent) while health services cost dropped further (-0.3 percent vs -0.1 percent). At the same time, manufactured prices dropped at a softer rate (-0.7 percent vs -0.9 percent), mainly clothing & footwear (-1.2 percent vs -1.4 percent). 

Annual core inflation, which excludes public sector prices, the most volatile consumer prices and the tax measures, increased to 0.9 percent in September from 0.7 percent in the previous month. 

On a monthly basis, consumer prices fell 0.3 percent in September, after a 0.5 percent rise in the previous month as cost decreased for services (-1.3 percent vs 0.4 percent in August) and food (-0.5 percent vs 0.5 percent). In contrast, prices went up faster for manufactured products (1.5 percent vs 0.9 percent) and energy (0.3 percent vs a flat reading).

The harmonized index of consumer prices increased by 1.1 percent from the previous year, following a 1.3 percent rise in August, while it fell by 0.4 percent month-over-month (vs 0.5 percent in August).


Tuesday October 08 2019
French Trade Deficit Larger than Expected
Ministère de l'Économie et des Finances | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

France's trade deficit widened to EUR 5.0 billion in August 2019 from a revised 4.5 billion in the previous month and above market expectations of a EUR 4.48 billion gap.

Exports grew 0.8 percent from the previous month to EUR 42.8 billion in August, boosted by sales of mechanical, electrical, electronic and computer equipment (5.1 percent), agribusiness products (1.3 percent), natural hydrocarbons, mining products, electricity (0.7 percent) and other industrial products (0.7 percent). In contrast, there were declines in exports of transport equipment (-2.9 percent), agricultural, forestry, fishery and aquaculture products (-6.2 percent) and refined petroleum products (-16.8 percent).

Among major trade partners, exports increased to Germany (0.8 percent), the UK (10.3 percent), Switzerland (4.8 percent), Poland (2.3 percent), Japan (17.3 percent) and Russia (50.5 percent); but declined to the US (-7.4 percent), Italy (-0.1 percent), Spain (-3.7 percent), Belgium (-3 percent), China & Hong Kong (-4 percent), the Netherlands (-1.5 percent), the Middle East (-12.2 percent), Portugal (-9.5 percent) and Turkey (-4.4 percent).

Imports advanced at a faster 1.8 percent to EUR 47.8 billion, as purchases rose for mechanical, electrical, electronic and computer equipment (2.5 percent), transport equipment (5.6 percent), refined petroleum products (4.2 percent), agricultural, forestry, fishery and aquaculture products (3.1 percent) and agribusiness products (0.3 percent). Meanwhile, imports of natural hydrocarbons, mining products, electricity fell 1.2 percent.

Among major trade partners, imports rose from Germany (1.3 percent), China & Hong Kong (3.3 percent), Belgium (0.9 percent), Spain (0.4 percent), the US (1.5 percent), the UK (17.7 percent), Japan (4.8 percent), Russia (69.2 percent) and Czech Republic (0.7 percent). In contrast, there were declines in purchases from Italy (-4.1 percent), the Netherlands (-3 percent), Switzerland (-0.1 percent), Poland (-1.7 percent), the Middle East (-17.6 percent), Turkey (-4.1 percent) and Ireland (-9.9 percent).


Friday September 27 2019
French Inflation Rate Eases to 0.9% in September
INSEE | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

France's annual inflation is expected to fall to 0.9 percent in September 2019 from 1.0 percent in the previous month, matching a two-year low recorded in May.

Energy prices are set to increase 0.2 percent in September, compared to 0.8 percent in August; while food prices should advance 2.1 percent, slower than 3.1 percent in the previous month, on the back of fresh food (2.0 percent vs 8.5 percent) and other food products (2.1 percent vs 2.2 percent). Meanwhile, tobacco price inflation is likely to remain unchanged at 8.7 percent, while manufactured products are seen falling at a slower rate (-0.7 percent vs -0.9 percent).

Services prices, which account for almost half of the CPI, are expected to grow 1.3 percent, faster than 1.1 percent in August.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices should fall 0.3 percent (vs 0.5 percent in August). Services prices are set to contract sharply, due to the seasonal downturn in the prices of certain tourism-related services; and food prices should drop after a 0.5 percent rise in the previous month. Contrariwise, cost of manufactured goods should gather pace and energy prices should increase after being unchanged in August.

The harmonised index of consumer prices is expected to rise 1.1 percent from the previous year (vs 1.3 percent in August); and fall 0.4 percent month-over-month (vs 0.5 percent in August).


Thursday September 12 2019
French August Inflation Rate Slows Faster than Expected
INSEE | Rafael Gonzalez | rafael.gonzalez@tradingeconomics.com

France's annual inflation rate fell to 1.0 percent in August of 2019 from 1.1 percent in the prior month and below an initial estimate of 1.1 percent. It was the lowest inflation rate since May, reflecting a drop in manufactured product prices.

Manufactured product cost continued to fall (-0.9 percent vs -0.6 percent in July), driven by a decline in clothing and footwear prices (-1.4 percent vs 0.3 percent). In addition, other manufactured products cost dropped further (-0.4 percent vs -0.3 percent), particularly in new motor cars prices (-1.1 percent vs -0.5 percent). Finally, health cost fell at a softer pace (-2.9 percent vs -3.2 percent). 

On the other hand, food prices advanced faster (3.1 percent vs 3.0 percent), mainly fresh products (8.5 percent vs 6.8 percent) due to an increase in the prices of fresh vegetables (16.8 percent vs 10.6 percent) and a rebound in those of fresh fruits (1.0 percent vs -0.5 percent). Meantime, inflation was steady for energy (at 0.8 percent) and services (at 1.1 percent). 

Annual core inflation, which excludes public sector prices, the most volatile consumer prices and the tax measures, dropped to 0.7 percent in August from 0.9 percent in the previous month

On a monthly basis, consumer prices increased 0.5 percent in August, after a 0.2 percent fall in July, as manufactured product cost rebounded (0.9 percent vs -2.8 percent in July). Meanwhile, energy prices were stable (vs -1.1 percent) while services prices slowed down (0.4 percent vs 1.0 percent). Additionally, inflation was steady for food (at 0.5 percent). 

The harmonized index of consumer prices increased by 1.3 percent from the previous year, unchanged from July, while it rose by 0.5 percent month-over-month (vs -0.2 percent in July).


Friday September 06 2019
French Trade Gap Narrows in July
Ministère de l'Économie et des Finances | Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

The French trade deficit decreased to EUR 4.6 billion in July 2019 from an upwardly revised EUR 5.3 in the previous month. Exports rose 1.1 percent month-over-month to EUR 42.2 billion while imports fell 0.4 percent to EUR 46.9 billion.

Exports advanced 1.1 percent from a month earlier to EUR 42.2 billion in July 2019. Main increases were seen in sales of other industrial products (1.1 percent), of which pharmaceutical products (8 percent), metallurgical & metal products (0.2 percent) and textiles, clothing, leather & shoes (0.6 percent); transport equipment (1.7 percent), namely aerospace products (3.3 percent); agribusiness products (0.7 percent), primarily fish (35.1 percent) and dairy products (13.8 percent); agricultural, forestry, fishery and aquaculture products (9.8 percent); coke and refined petroleum products (22.4 percent) and natural hydrocarbons, mining products, electricity (1.7 percent). In contrast, shipments declined for mechanical, electrical, electronic and computer equipment (-1.6 percent).

Among major trading partners, exports rose to the EU (3.0 percent), America (3.7 percent) and Africa (5.0 percent), but decreased to Asia (-5.0 percent) and the Middle East (-26.7 percent).

Imports decreased 0.4 percent month-over-month to EUR 46.9 billion, amid lower purchases of other industrial products (-0.5 percent), mostly chemicals, perfumes, cosmetics (-4.4 percent) and textiles, clothing, leather & shoes (-1.4 percent); mechanical, electrical, electronic and computer equipment (-1.7 percent); coke and refined petroleum products (-4.9 percent) and publishing and communication (-1.4 percent). On the other hand, acquisitions went up for transport equipment (0.5 percent), as higher imports of automotive equipment (2.3 percent) and boats & ships (274.4 percent) outweighed declines seen in vehicles (-5 percent) and aerospace products (-0.7 percent). Also, imports advanced for natural hydrocarbons, mining products, electricity (1.7 percent); agribusiness products (2.0 percent) and agricultural, forestry, fishery and aquaculture products (2.8 percent).

Among major trading partners, imports were down from the EU (-0.3 percent), Asia (-2.3 percent), America (-2.7 percent), Africa (-1.7 percent), while grew from the Middle East (19.3 percent).


Friday August 30 2019
French Inflation Rate Steady at 1.1% in August
INSEE | Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

The annual inflation rate in France is expected to came in at 1.1 percent in August 2019, unchanged from the previous month and slightly above market expectations of 1.0 percent, a preliminary estimate showed. The services prices should increase at the same pace while those of energy and tobacco are likely to ease. At the same time, manufactured goods cost is anticipated to fall more.

Prices are set to advance at the same pace for services (1.1 percent) and to slow down slightly for energy (0.7 percent vs 0.8 percent) and tobacco (8.7 percent vs 8.8 percent). In addition, cost of manufactured goods is expected to fall more markedly (-0.9 percent vs -0.6 percent). Contrastingly, inflation should accelerate for food (3.2 percent vs 3.0 percent), mostly driven by fresh food (8.3 percent vs 6.8 percent).

On a monthly basis, consumer prices are expected to recover significantly by 0.5 percent, after a 0.2 percent decrease in the prior month. Prices should be driven mainly by the seasonal rebound in manufactured goods prices after the end of summer sales in metropolitan France and by the equally seasonal rise in the prices of certain tourism-related services. In addition, food prices should continue to rise mainly due to fresh foods. Tobacco and energy prices should be stable this month. The increase in electricity prices should be offset by lower prices for petroleum products and domestic gas.

The harmonized index of consumer prices is estimated to rise 1.2 percent from the previous year (vs 1.3 percent in July) while it is expected to rise 0.5 percent month-over-month (vs -0.2 percent in July).


Thursday August 29 2019
French Q2 GDP Growth Revised Higher
INSEE | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

France's quarterly economic growth was revised higher to 0.3 percent in the second quarter of 2019 from a preliminary estimate of 0.2 percent, as net foreign demand contributed positively to the expansion while first estimates had pointed to a neutral contribution. Fixed investment grew solidly while household consumption rose at a slower pace.

Final domestic demand excluding inventory changes contributed 0.4 points to GDP growth (vs 0.3 points in Q1) and foreign trade balance contributed 0.1 points (vs -0.3 points in Q1). Conversely, changes in inventories contributed negatively to the expansion (-0.2 points vs 0.3 points in Q1).

Within domestic demand, fixed investment growth picked up to 0.9 percent in the second quarter from 0.5 percent in the previous period, mainly boosted by corporate investment and a rebound in information-communication and business services. Also, government spending increased 0.4 percent after being unchanged in the previous period. Household consumption, however, rose at a softer 0.2 percent, compared to 0.3 percent in the first quarter.

Exports were flat (vs 0.1 percent in Q1), while imports dropped 0.2 percent (vs 1.1 percent in Q1).

Year-on-year, the economy expanded 1.4 percent in the second quarter, little-changed from a 1.3 percent growth in the previous three-month period.