L'économie française - Comptes et dossiers - 2006-2007 ed.
The year 2005 saw the world economy showing firm resistance in the face of the oil shock. World activity rallied in the second half, the result for the year being a slight slowdown compared with 2004 (annual average growth down from 4.8% to 4.2%). In particular, the strength of the United States and Chinese economies brought the rest of the world economy along in their wake. Monetary tightening, which was applied at an early stage in the United States and more belatedly in the euro zone, had only a small impact on United States and European long rates. In France, GDP growth fell back to 1.2% from 2.3%, but with a pick-up in the second half of the year. French activity continued to be based mainly on private domestic demand, mainly households' consumer demand (up 2.1%) and their investment in housing (up 3.1%). Productive investment also remained vigorous (up 2.7%). The gradual revival in total domestic employment (+0.2%), encouraged by the Social Cohesion Plan and the Emergency Plan for Employment, led to a downturn in the unemployment rate, which ended the year on 9.6%, compared with 10% at end-2004. Productivity gains were therefore slightly smaller than in 2004. The foreign trade balance deteriorated sharply, from a surplus of €4.1 billion in 2004 to a deficit of €16.3 billion. For the third consecutive year, foreign trade acted as a brake on activity, lopping 0.8 of a point off average growth.