An unexpected improvement. After a fall of 0.2% in the first quarter, France returned to growth from April to June and recorded a more dynamic recovery than expected in its GDP, which rose by 0.5% in this second quarter, according to a first estimate published on Friday, July 29 was published by the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (Insee).
The good development of the French economy in the second quarter can be explained both by the clearly positive growth contribution from foreign trade and the less pronounced decline in private consumption than in the first quarter.
This estimate beats expectations as INSEE forecasts growth of +0.25% and Banque de France forecast growth of 0.2%.
According to this first estimate of the national accounts, to be confirmed by INSEE at the end of August, imports fell by 0.6% in the second quarter, while exports increased by 0.8%.
The latter became “Driven in particular by transport services (+6.3%, after +5.0% in the first quarter) and spending by foreign travelers in France (+8.6%, after +5.0%)”Details INSEE. “Conversely, exports of goods fell (−0.6%, after +1.4%), especially in transport equipment and agri-food”explains the institute.
Household consumption is shrinking again
Consumption, the traditional engine of the French economy, remains negative in the purchase of goods (−1.3%), but the purchase of services is increasing again (+1.5%). Two contradictory trends led to an overall decline in household consumption of 0.2% in the second quarter.
With the figures published on Friday, INSEE estimates the growth overhang of the French economy for 2022 at 2.5%.
This number is in line with the government’s annual growth forecast and is slightly above the expectations of the Banque de France or the IMF (+2.3%). The INSEE data comes the day after US growth for the second quarter (−0.9% on an annualized basis, down from −1.6% in the first quarter) was released, which technically pushed the country into recession .
In Europe, growth estimates for the euro zone and several large countries in the old continent are also due on Friday morning.