French Economy Nearly Stalls as Exports Slump

tendata blogTrade Trends News

ten data blog01-11-2023

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France's economy grew more slowly over the summer as production and exports slowed, a sign that tight monetary policy is squeezing the country's industry.

The euro zone's second-largest economy grew 0.1 percent from July to September compared with the previous quarter after posting more dynamic growth of 0.6 percent in the first three months, according to data released Tuesday by state statistics agency Insee.

Exports, which had boosted net trade and GDP in the second quarter, reversed course, slipping 1.4% in the quarter, the data showed. Despite a sharp increase in refinery output, manufacturing output fell 0.3 percent, dragged down by weakness in the production of transportation materials and food. net trade dragged down overall GDP growth by 0.3 percentage points, Insee said.

Total output growth, including services and goods, slowed to 0.2%.

On the other hand, domestic demand accelerated due to household consumption and investment, Insee said. Food spending rose significantly after a prolonged decline, the agency said.

The rise suggests domestic demand is "soaring," said Klaus Westerson, chief eurozone economist at Pantheon Macroeconomic Consulting. "Sustainable? Probably not, but still reliable," Vistesen said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

France's growth, though weaker, contrasted with contraction in neighboring Germany, which shrank 0.1 percent in the third quarter, according to data released earlier this week. That was somewhat better than expected, but economists warned that the country's weak manufacturing sector could hinder a return to growth.

The European Central Bank decided last week not to continue its rate hike cycle for the time being, leaving its key interest rate unchanged amid growing signs of weakness in the eurozone economy. Eurozone GDP data will be released later on Tuesday, with growth expected to be flat following a modest expansion in the previous quarter.

Among the other major eurozone economies, Spain posted 0.3% growth in the summer quarter, thanks largely to a recovery in tourism. Italy is also due to release its own quarterly growth figures later on Tuesday, with economists expecting 0.1% growth this year.

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