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Household consumption expenditure on goods receded again in March 2017 (−0.4%) and fell by 0.4% over the first quarter 2017Household consumption expenditure on goods - March 2017

In March 2017, household consumption expenditure on goods decreased in volume* (−0.4%), after an already sharp decline in the previous month (−0.7%). Over the whole first quarter, it retreated by 0.4%, after a +0.9% rise over the fourth quarter of 2016. In March as well as over the whole quarter, the fall in energy consumption weighed on the overall expenditure.

Informations rapides N° 117
No 117
Principaux indicateurs
Paru le : 28/04/2017
Prochaine parution le : 30/10/2018 at 08:45 - September 2018

In March 2017, household consumption expenditure on goods decreased in volume* (−0.4%), after an already sharp decline in the previous month (−0.7%). Over the whole first quarter, it retreated by 0.4%, after a +0.9% rise over the fourth quarter of 2016. In March as well as over the whole quarter, the fall in energy consumption weighed on the overall expenditure.

*Volumes are measured at chain-link previous year prices (2010 euro billions) and all figures are trading-day and seasonally adjusted.

Graph1 – Total consumption of goods

  • Source: INSEE

Energy: decreasing again in March, stepping back sharply over the quarter

In March 2017, energy consumption kept on declining (−1.8%), though at a far slower pace than in February (−10.9%). A slight rebound in purchases of refined products (+0.5%), notably in fuel, partially offset a further drop in expenses on gas and electricity, as a result of temperatures still above seasonal norms. Over the whole quarter, the particularly mild temperatures at the end of winter reduced household energy consumption (−3.8%).

Graph2 – Breakdown of energy

  • Source: INSEE

Engineered goods: near stability in March, moderate growth over the first quarter

In March 2017, purchases of engineered goods were almost unchanged (−0.1%). Over the quarter, they increased moderately (+0.4% after +1.0%).

Durables: slowdown in March

In March, expenses on durables slowed down (+0.4% after +1.5%), in particular in household durables. Purchases of new vehicles increased moderately again. Over the whole quarter, consumption of durables was stable, buoyed by expenditure on household durables (+1.3%) but hampered by lower spending on automobiles (−0.4%).

Textile-clothing: decreasing over the month

In March, expenses on textile-clothing fell back after a sharp recovery in February. Over the whole quarter, spending sped up (+0.9% after +0.3%).

Other engineered goods: speeding up over the quarter

In March, expenses on other engineered goods picked up slightly (+0.4% after −0,1%). Over the whole quarter, purchases accelerated (+0.9% after 0.5% over the fourth quarter of 2016), in particular those of DIY materials.

Graph3 – Breakdown of engineered goods

  • Source: INSEE

Food products: slight fall in March and moderate rise over the quarter

In March, consumption of food products edged down (−0.3% after +0.5%), notably due to tobacco consumption. Over the whole quarter, spending on food products picked up slightly (+0.3% after −0.3%), particularly on agrifood products.

Graph4 – Food products, engineered goods and energy

  • Source: INSEE

The variation in February 2017 is revised upwards

The variation in household expenditure on goods in February 2017 is revised upwards by 0.1 points (−0.7% instead of −0.8%). Since the previous publication, new information has been integrated, especially in households durables and the seasonal adjustment coefficients have been updated.

Table – Household consumption expenditure on goods

Variation in percentage
Household consumption expenditure on goods
Weight (1) Jan. 2017 Feb. 2017 Mar. 2017 Mar. 17 / Mar. 16 Q1 2017 / Q4 2016
Food products 38 0.6 0.5 –0.3 0.3 0.3
Engineered goods 45 –1.2 2.5 –0.1 0.7 0.4
- Durables 22 –1.4 1.5 0.4 –1.4 0.0
Including :
- Automobiles 12 –2.6 0.4 0.4 0.6 –0.4
- Household durables 8 0.7 3.2 0.5 –4.7 1.3
- Textile-clothing 9 –3.4 8.7 –1.9 3.5 0.9
- Other engineered goods 13 0.9 –0.1 0.4 2.4 0.9
Energy 17 5.8 –10.9 –1.8 –8.2 –3.8
- Energy. water. waste 10 8.8 –16.5 –3.7 –12.9 –5.7
- Refined Products 7 1.6 –2.4 0.5 –1.5 –1.2
Total 100 0.7 –0.7 –0.4 –1.0 –0.4
- Including Manufactured goods 84 –0.2 1.4 –0.3 0.6 0.4
  • (1) Weighting in the consumption expenditure on goods in value in 2016
  • Source: INSEE