Insee conjoncture
30 janvier 2019
N° 2019-23

French GDP rose by 0.3% in Q4 2018Quarterly national accounts - first estimate - fourth quarter 2018

In Q4 2018, GDP in volume terms grew at the same pace as in Q3: +0.3%. On average over the year, GDP growth slowed down in 2018: +1.5% after +2.3% in 2017.

Household consumption expenditures decelerated (0.0% after +0.4%), likewise total gross fixed capital formation slowed down (GFCF: +0.2% after +1.0%). Overall, final domestic demand excluding inventory changes decelerated: it contributed 0.1 points to GDP growth, after 0.5 points in the previous quarter.

Imports bounced back in Q4 (+1.6% after −0.7%) and exports accelerated significantly (+2.4% after +0.2%). All in all, foreign trade balance contributed positively to GDP growth again: +0.2 points, after +0.3 points in Q3. Conversely, changes in inventories contributed negatively to GDP growth (−0.1 points after −0.5 points).

Informations rapides
No 23
Paru le : 30/01/2019
Prochaine parution le : 30/04/2019 at 07:30 - first quarter 2019

In Q4 2018, GDP in volume terms grew at the same pace as in Q3: +0.3%. On average over the year, GDP growth slowed down in 2018: +1.5% after +2.3% in 2017.

Household consumption expenditures decelerated (0.0% after +0.4%), likewise total gross fixed capital formation slowed down (GFCF: +0.2% after +1.0%). Overall, final domestic demand excluding inventory changes decelerated: it contributed 0.1 points to GDP growth, after 0.5 points in the previous quarter.

Imports bounced back in Q4 (+1.6% after −0.7%) and exports accelerated significantly (+2.4% after +0.2%). All in all, foreign trade balance contributed positively to GDP growth again: +0.2 points, after +0.3 points in Q3. Conversely, changes in inventories contributed negatively to GDP growth (−0.1 points after −0.5 points).

Graph 1GDP and its main components

GDP and its main components ()
Consumption GFCF Inventory changes Net foreign trade GDP
2016-Q1 0.71 0.25 -0.38 0.11 0.7
2016-Q2 0.3 -0.02 -0.77 0.25 -0.2
2016-Q3 0.03 0.08 0.59 -0.53 0.2
2016-Q4 0.47 0.16 -0.28 0.24 0.6
2017-Q1 0.06 0.53 0.79 -0.56 0.8
2017-Q2 0.29 0.18 -0.76 0.94 0.6
2017-Q3 0.38 0.3 0.25 -0.3 0.6
2017-Q4 0.15 0.19 -0.23 0.59 0.7
2018-Q1 0.18 0.06 -0.06 0.04 0.2
2018-Q2 0.01 0.18 0.16 -0.19 0.2
2018-Q3 0.27 0.22 -0.5 0.27 0.3
2018-Q4 0.08 0.05 -0.1 0.22 0.3

Graph 1GDP and its main components

Figure1GDP and its main components

percentage change from previous period, working-day and seasonally adjusted data
GDP and its main components (percentage change from previous period, working-day and seasonally adjusted data)
2018 Q1 2018 Q2 2018 Q3 2018 Q4 2017 2018
GDP 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.3 2.3 1.5
Imports -0.5 0.6 -0.7 1.6 4.1 1.1
Household consumption expenditure 0.3 -0.1 0.4 0.0 1.1 0.8
General government’s consumption expenditure 0.1 0.3 0.2 0.3 1.4 1.0
GFCF 0.3 0.8 1.0 0.2 4.7 2.9
Of which non-financial corporations and unincorporated enterprises 0.3 1.2 1.7 0.3 4.4 3.9
Households 0.5 0.2 -0.1 -0.4 5.6 2.0
General government 0.0 0.4 0.0 0.7 1.6 0.7
Exports -0.4 0.0 0.2 2.4 4.7 3.1
Contributions:
Internal demand excluding inventory changes 0.2 0.2 0.5 0.1 2.0 1.4
Inventory changes -0.1 0.2 -0.5 -0.1 0.2 -0.4
Net foreign trade 0.0 -0.2 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.6
  • This growth rate is seasonally and working-day adjusted; volumes are chain-linked previous-year-prices volumes.
  • Source: Insee

Total production decelerated slightly

Production of goods and services grew once more in Q4 2018 (+0.4% after +0.5%). It slowed down in goods (+0.2% after +0.5%), while it remained dynamic in services (+0.5% after +0.5%). Output in manufactured goods halted this quarter (+0.1% after +0.6%). Production of refineries drew back (−5.5% after +11.1%) due to social movements in November; production of gas and electricity remained lacklustre (+0.3% after +0.3%). Furthermore, construction remained virtually stable (−0.1% after +0.1%).

On average over the year, total production was less dynamic than in 2017 (+2.0% after +2.6%), notably in construction (+1.1% after +3.5%). Output in manufactured goods slowed down (+0.8% after +2.4%). In services production also decelerated, less markedly (+2.3% after +2.8%), particularly in transport.

Figure2Production, consumption and GFCF: main components

percentage change from previous period, working-day and seasonally adjusted data
Production, consumption and GFCF: main components (percentage change from previous period, working-day and seasonally adjusted data)
2018 Q1 2018 Q2 2018 Q3 2018 Q4 2017 2018
Production of branches 0.2 0.3 0.5 0.4 2.6 2.0
Goods -0.7 -0.3 0.5 0.2 2.2 0.9
Manufactured industry -1.0 -0.1 0.6 0.1 2.4 0.8
Construction -0.2 0.6 0.1 -0.1 3.5 1.1
Market services 0.6 0.5 0.6 0.6 3.2 2.9
Non-market services 0.1 0.3 0.2 0.3 1.1 1.0
Household consumption 0.3 -0.1 0.4 0.0 1.1 0.8
Food products -0.3 -1.3 0.1 -0.1 0.3 -1.2
Energy 0.7 -2.3 -0.1 -0.4 0.1 -0.8
Engineered goods -0.1 0.9 0.6 -1.2 2.6 1.1
Services 0.4 0.1 0.4 0.5 1.6 1.5
GFCF 0.3 0.8 1.0 0.2 4.7 2.9
Manufactured goods -1.3 1.3 2.0 -1.4 3.7 2.4
Construction 0.2 0.6 -0.2 0.0 3.5 1.3
Market services 1.4 0.7 1.8 1.5 7.0 5.3
  • Source: Insee

Household consumption halted

Household consumption slowed down significantly in Q42018 (+0.0% after +0.4%): consumption of goods folded once more (−0.7% after +0.3%), while consumption of services remained dynamic (+0.5% after +0.4%). In particular, the strong downturn in engineered goods (−1.2% after +0.6%) is linked to a decrease in automotive purchasesfollowing thesurge in Q3. Expenditures on energy declined again (−0.4% after −0.1%) due to low fuel consumption and temperatures higher than seasonal averages. In services, consumption accelerated very slightly (+0.5% after +0.4%).

On average over the year, household consumption decelerated in 2018 (+0.8% after +1.1%), notably consumption of goods.

Figure3Sectoral accounts

percentage change from previous period, working-day and seasonally adjusted data
Sectoral accounts (percentage change from previous period, working-day and seasonally adjusted data)
2018 Q1 2018 Q2 2018 Q3 2018 Q4 2017 2018 (ovhg)
Profit ration of NFCs* (level) 32.1 31.7 31.9 32.0
Purchasing power of the HDI** -0.5 0.8 0.3 1.4 0.9
  • * NFC: Non-financial corporations
  • **HDI: Households’ disposable income
  • Source : Insee

Figure4Households’ disposable income and ratios of households’ account

percentage change from previous period, working-day and seasonally adjusted data
Households’ disposable income and ratios of households’ account (percentage change from previous period, working-day and seasonally adjusted data)
2018 Q1 2018 Q2 2018 Q3 2018 Q4 2017 2018 (ovhg)
HDI 0.1 1.2 0.7 2.7 2.5
HDI (purchasing power) -0.5 0.8 0.3 1.4 0.9
HDI by cu* (purchasing power) -0.6 0.7 0.2 0.9 0.5
Adjusted HDI (purchasing power) -0.3 0.7 0.3 1.5 1.0
Saving rate (level) 13.7 14.4 14.4 14.2
Financial saving rate (level) 3.5 4.1 3.9 4.4
  • * cu: consumption unit
  • Source: Insee

Corporate investment slowed down, household investment kept decreasing

In Q4 2018, total GFCF was flat (+0.2% after +1.0%). Corporate investment decelerated (+0.3% after +1.7%), notably because of the decline in businesses’ purchases of cars. Meanwhile, household investment decreased again (−0.4% after −0.1%), particularly in housing.

Over 2018, GFCF slowed down significantly (+2.9% after +4.7%) particularly that of households.

Figure5Ratios of non-financial corporations’s account

level (in percent), WDA-SA data
Ratios of non-financial corporations’s account (level (in percent), WDA-SA data)
2018 Q1 2018 Q2 2018 Q3 2018 Q4 2017
Profit share 32.1 31.7 31.9 32.0
Investment ratio 23.5 23.9 24.2 23.5
Savings ratio 23.0 22.9 23.6 22.7
Self-financing ratio 97.9 95.9 97.4 96.6
  • Source: Insee

Imports recovered markedly in Q4 2018 after having faltered in Q3 (+1.6% after −0.7%). Exports accelerated significantly (+2.4% after +0.2%) because of dynamic aeronautic and naval equipment deliveries. All in all, foreign trade contributed positively to GDP growth: +0.2 points after +0.3 points in Q3.

On average over the year, exports decelerated (+3.1% after +4.7%) but less markedly so than imports (+1.1 % after +4.1%). As such, foreign trade contributed more to growth in 2018 than it did in 2017 (+0.6% after +0.1%).

Changes in inventories weighed down GDP growth

In Q4 2018, changes in inventories contributed negatively to GDP growth: −0.1 points after −0.5 points. This negative contribution was mostly attributed to transport equipment.

On average over the year, changes in inventories’ contribution to growth was −0.4% (after +0.2%).

Figure6Expenditure, receipts and net borrowing of public administrations

level, WDA-SA data
Expenditure, receipts and net borrowing of public administrations (level, WDA-SA data)
2018 Q1 2018 Q2 2018 Q3 2018 Q4 2017
In billions of euros
Total expenditure 329.3 328.7 329.6 1294.3
Total receipts 314.8 312.9 311.5 1232.7
Net lending (+) or borrowing (–) -14.5 -15.8 -18.1 -61.6
In % of GDP
Net lending (+) or borrowing (–) -2.5 -2.7 -3.1 -2.7
  • Source: Insee

Revisions

The GDP growth estimate for Q3 2018 is confirmed at +0.3%. Slight revisions in different aggregates offset each other; they are mainly due to the revision of indicators and to the update of seasonal adjustment coefficients.

Encadré

For further information

The publication of the quarterly national accounts will be simplified as of Q2 2019; the Detailed figures will now be known sooner.

As usual, the First estimate of the GDP and its components (main aggregates) will be published 30 days after the end of the quarter, meaning late April for the first quarter.

The publication of the Detailed figures, comprising the sectoral accounts (households’ purchasing power, corporations’ profit ratio, quarterly public deficit…), will be brought forward from 85 to 60 days after the end of the quarter, meaning late May for the first quarter. The data received after 60 days will be integrated in the following quarter’s First estimate.

This new calendar follows tests conducted since 2015, which showed that the estimate of the sectoral accounts from the data known at 60 days is robust. Furthermore, it articulates better with the release of the Conjoncture in France.

Documentation

Methodology (pdf, 140 Ko)

The publication of the quarterly national accounts will be simplified as of Q2 2019; the Detailed figures will now be known sooner.

As usual, the First estimate of the GDP and its components (main aggregates) will be published 30 days after the end of the quarter, meaning late April for the first quarter.

The publication of the Detailed figures, comprising the sectoral accounts (households’ purchasing power, corporations’ profit ratio, quarterly public deficit…), will be brought forward from 85 to 60 days after the end of the quarter, meaning late May for the first quarter. The data received after 60 days will be integrated in the following quarter’s First estimate.

This new calendar follows tests conducted since 2015, which showed that the estimate of the sectoral accounts from the data known at 60 days is robust. Furthermore, it articulates better with the release of the Conjoncture in France.


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