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In Q1 2015, French GDP increased strongly: +0.6% after 0.0%

Quarterly national accounts - First results Q1 2015

In Q1 2015, GDP in volume terms* increased by 0.6%, after a stability in Q4 2014.

In the three first months of 2015, household consumption expenditure accelerated (+0.8% after +0.1%) while total gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) decreased again (–0.2% after –0.4%). Overall, total domestic demand (excluding inventory changes) increased: it contributed for +0.5 points to GDP growth (after +0.1 points in Q4 2014).

Exports slowed (+0.9% after +2.5%) while imports accelerated (+2.3% after 1.5%). In fine, the foreign trade balance contributed negatively to activity (–0.5 points after +0.2 points in the previous quarter). Conversely, changes in inventories contributed positively: +0.5 points after –0.3 points at the end of 2014.

Total production improved significantly

In Q1 2015, production in goods and services rose by 0.7% after a stagnation at the end of 2014. Output in the manufactured goods accelerated significantly (+1.3% after +0.1%), mainly output of transport equipment (+5.6% after –2.4%). Energy production also bounced back. Production in market services accelerated more moderately (+0.6% after +0.3%). By contrast, activity in construction declined sharply again ( –1.0% after –0.9%).

Household consumption accelerated strongly

In Q1 2015, household consumption expenditure accelerated (+0.8% after +0.1%). In particular, expenditure on energy recovered sharply after exceptionally soft weather conditions in Q4 2014. Consumption in engineered goods also accelerated (+1.4% after +0.5%) thanks to consumption of automobile. Finally, consumption in services remained sluggish (+0.3% after +0.1%).

* This growth rate is seasonally and working-day adjusted; volumes are chain-linked previous-year-prices volumes.

GDP and its main components

GDP and its main components
Goods and services:
percentage change from previous period,working-day and seasonally adjusted data
2014 Q2 2014 Q3 2014 Q4 2015 Q1 2014 2015 (ovhg)
GDP -0.1 0.2 0.0 0.6 0.2 0.7
Imports 0.9 1.8 1.5 2.3 3.9 4.6
Household consumption *expenditure 0.5 0.3 0.1 0.8 0.6 1.2
General government's *consumption expenditure 0.4 0.5 0.5 0.4 1.5 1.1
GFCF -0.6 -0.5 -0.4 -0.2 -1.2 -0.9
*of which Non-financial corporated and unincorporated enterprises 0.2 0.2 -0.1 0.2 2.0 0.2
Households -1.5 -1.3 -1.1 -1.4 -5.3 -3.2
General government -2.8 -2.1 -0.3 0.3 -6.9 -1.7
Exports 0.2 0.9 2.5 0.9 2.4 3.2
Contributions :        
Internal demand excluding inventory changes 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.5 0.5 0.7
Inventory changes -0.1 0.3 -0.3 0.5 0.2 0.5
Net foreign trade -0.2 -0.3 0.2 -0.5 -0.5 -0.5
Sectoral accounts
percentage change from previous period,working-day and seasonally adjusted data
*NFC: non-financial corporations
2014 Q2 2014 Q3 2014 Q4 2015 Q1 2014 2015 (ovhg)
Profit ratio of NFC* (level) 29.2 29.4 29.7   29.5  
Household purchasing power 0.4 0.6 0.0   1.1 0.4
Production, Consumption and GFCF: main components
percentage change from previous period,working-day and seasonally adjusted data
2014 Q2 2014 Q3 2014 Q4 2015 Q1 2014 2015 (ovhg)
Production of branches 0.0 0.4 0.0 0.7 0.7 0.9
Goods -0.2 0.8 -0.3 1.5 0.1 1.6
Manufactured Industry -0.6 0.6 0.1 1.3 0.3 1.5
Construction -1.2 -1.0 -0.9 -1.0 -2.2 -2.5
Market services 0.2 0.5 0.3 0.6 1.2 1.1
Non-market services 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.4 1.3 0.8
Household consumption 0.5 0.3 0.1 0.8 0.6 1.2
Food products 0.7 -0.2 0.3 0.1 0.2 0.4
Energy 1.9 1.0 -1.7 3.9 -5.7 3.6
Engineered goods -0.1 0.3 0.5 1.4 1.9 1.9
Services 0.1 0.2 0.1 0.3 0.7 0.5
GFCF -0.6 -0.5 -0.4 -0.2 -1.2 -0.9
Manufactured goods -0.1 0.2 -0.3 1.2 1.3 1.1
Construction -1.5 -1.3 -0.9 -1.3 -3.4 -3.0
Market services 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.4 0.4 0.7
Households’ disposable income and ratios of households’ account
percentage change from previous period,working-day and seasonally adjusted data
*cu: consumption unit
2014 Q2 2014 Q3 2014 Q4 2015 Q1 2014 2015 (ovhg)
HDI 0.3 0.5 0.0   1.1 0.3
Household purchasing power 0.4 0.6 0.0 1.1 0.4
HDI by cu* (purchasing power) 0.3 0.5 -0.1 0.7 0.3
Adjusted HDI (purchasing power) 0.4 0.6 0.1 1.3 0.5
Saving rate (level) 15.0 15.2 15.1 15.1  
Financial saving rate (level) 6.0 6.2 6.2   6.0  
Ratios of non-financial corporations’ account
level (in percent), WDA-SA data
2014 Q2 2014 Q3 2014 Q4 2015 Q1 2014
Profit share 29.2 29.4 29.7   29.5
Investment ratio 23.2 23.2 22.9   23.1
Savings ratio 17.1 17.4 18.2   17.4
Self-financing ratio 73.8 75.0 79.4   75.2
Expenditure, receipts and net borrowing of public administrations
level, WDA-SA data
2014 Q2 2014 Q3 2014 Q4 2015 Q1 2014
In billions of euros      
Total expenditure 305.7 307.2 308.2   1226.5
Total receipts 284.3 285.5 286.5   1141.7
Net lending (+) or borrowing (-) -21.4 -21.8 -21.7   -84.9
In % of GDP      
Net lending (+) or borrowing (-) -4.0 -4.1 -4.0   -4.0

Investment declined again

Households’ GFCF decreased again (–1.4% after –1.1%) while enterprises’ improved barely (+0.2% after –0.1%). Product-wise, the decline of construction investment deepened (–1.3% after –0.9%) while investment in manufactured goods (+1.2% after –0.3%) and in market services (+1.5% after +0.1%) accelerated.

Exports slowed, imports accelerated

In Q1 2015, exports slowed (+0.9% after +2.5%), especially in manufactured goods (+1.0% after +3.1%). The slowdown resulted notably from transport equipment (–0.9% after +11.1%). At the same time, imports accelerated sharply (+2.3% after +1.5%), mainly in energy and transportation equipment. Thus, foreign trade weighed down on GDP change this quarter: –0.5 points to GDP after +0.2 points.

Changes in inventories contributed positively to the activity

In Q1 2015, changes in inventories contributed positively to GDP growth: +0.5 points after –0.3 points in Q4 2014. Transport equipment contributed for +0.4 points of GDP, thus overcompensating the contribution of the trade balance of these goods (–0.3 points).

Revisions

Revisions are larger this quarter than on previous publications, but their extent are typical of a first quarter. They come from new benchmarking due to revised annual accounts for years 2012 to 2014 and to updates of seasonal and working day adjustments. In Q3 and Q4 2014, the growth rate of GDP is slightly decreased by 0.1 points each quarter.

Informations Rapides

n° 113 - May 13, 2015

Quarterly national accounts - preliminary figures - 1st quarter 2015

Next issue August 14, 2015 07:30 - 2nd quarter 2015

For further information

  • Historical data are available on the BDM: G1540, G1548.

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