French national accounts for 2008: a sharp economic slowdown
French gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.4% on an annual average basis in 2008, compared with 2.3% in 2007 and 2.2% in 2006. Adjusted by 0.1 points for working days, the economy grew 0.3%. The downturn began in the spring and gained momentum in the autumn. The weakness of activity was mainly due to the sharp deceleration in domestic demand. Consumption growth slackened and investment stalled. GDP growth was also undermined by inventory drawdowns, particularly at year-end. External trade was affected as well. Export growth ceased, and imports registered an ever sharper slowdown. Households experienced a sharp slowdown in real-income growth, and their saving rate declined slightly. The margin ratio of non-financial corporations fell. The activity of financial companies stagnated.