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
No 117
Paru le : 28/04/2017
Prochaine parution le : 22/12/2017 at 08:45 - November 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.

*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