The 2009 national accounts: the deepest recession since World War II
In 2009, France's gross domestic product (GDP) declined by 2.6% on an annual-average basis, after gaining 2.4% in 2007 and 0.2% in 2008. Adjusted for working days, the GDP loss came to a slightly milder 2.5%. The economic downturn began in spring 2008, gaining momentum at year-end 2008 and in first-quarter 2009. Demand from the business sector dropped because of a slippage in investment and massive inventory drawdowns. External trade flows posted a sharp contraction. By contrast, household consumption remained resilient, and general-government consumption accelerated thanks to the recovery package. Households gained purchasing power (real income)-notably thanks to the easing of inflation-and they increased their saving rate. The margin ratio of non-financial corporations declined. Financial corporations' value added rebounded.