France GDP Expands More Than Initial Estimate In 2019

France’s economic growth for 2019 was upwardly revised on robust consumption and investment, detailed results from the statistical office Insee showed on Friday.

Another report showed a slowdown in consumer price inflation in February driven by energy and food prices.

Gross domestic product grew 1.3 percent in 2019 instead of 1.2 percent estimated initially. Nonetheless, this was slower than the 1.7 percent growth logged in 2018.

In the fourth quarter, the economy shrank 0.1 percent, in line with preliminary estimate, after expanding 0.3 percent a quarter ago.

In 2019, household consumption gained 1.2 percent and general government spending climbed 1.3 percent. Gross fixed capital formation grew 3.6 percent after rising 2.8 percent.

However, the net trade contributed -0.1 percentage points to GDP as growth in exports eased to 1.9 percent, while imports grew at a faster pace of 2.2 percent. Likewise, inventories deducted 0.4 percentage points.

Another official data showed second consecutive decrease in household consumption due to weak spending on car purchases in January. Household spending declined 1.1 percent on month, following a 0.3 percent drop in December.

Purchases of transport equipment plunged 7.1 percent in January.

Provisional data showed that consumer price inflation eased slightly to 1.4 percent in February from 1.5 percent in January. The rate was expected to remain at 1.5 percent.

Energy price growth eased sharply to 1.1 percent from 4.5 percent and that in food prices slowed to 1.8 percent from 2 percent.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices remained flat after falling 0.4 percent a month ago. Final data is due on March 13.

Inflation based on the harmonized index of consumer prices, slowed to 1.6 percent from 1.7 percent in January. Month-on-month, the HICP remained stable versus a 0.5 percent drop in January.

In a separate communiqué, the Insee said producer prices in the domestic market dropped 0.1 percent on month but increased 0.2 percent on a yearly basis in January. In the overall market, producer prices remained flat from December and grew 0.3 percent annually.

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