Insee
Informations rapides · 29 January 2021 · n° 026
Informations rapidesGDP declined in Q4 2020 (– 1.3%), marked by the second lockdown; over the year 2020, GDP declined by 8.3%.Quarterly national accounts - first estimate - fourth quarter 2020

In Q4 2020, GDP in volume terms fell back: –1.3% after +18.5% in Q3 2020. The loss of activity this quarter was marked by the lockdown in effect from the end of October to mid-December and by the curfews put in place during the months of October and December. Nevertheless, the total loss of activity was much more moderate than during the first lockdown in March-May 2020: in Q4 2020, GDP was 5.0% below its level a year earlier (year-on-year change), whereas the year-on-year decline was of 18.8% in the second quarter. Over the full year 2020, GDP fell sharply (–8.3%, after +1.5% in 2019). This first estimate of the annual decline in activity and of the rest of the annual aggregates, by sum of the four quarters, will be consolidated when the 2020 provisional annual account will be published at the end of May 2021.

The effects of the second lockdown were mainly reflected in household consumption expenditure, which fell back sharply (–5.4% in Q4 after +18.2% in the previous quarter). On the other hand, gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) continued its recovery (+2.4% after +24.0%). Overall, total domestic demand (excluding changes in inventories) fell again, contributing – 2.7 points to GDP growth this quarter after +19.4 points in the previous quarter.

Foreign trade also pursued its recovery. For the second quarter in a row, exports increased more than imports (+4.8% after +21.9% for exports and +1.3% after +16.2% for imports). Overall, the foreign trade made a positive contribution to GDP growth this quarter: +0.9 points, after +0.8 points in Q3 2020. Finally, changes in inventories made a positive contribution to GDP growth (+0.4 points after – 1.7 points).

Informations rapides
No 026
Paru le : Paru le 29/01/2021
Prochaine parution le : 30/04/2021 at 07:30 - first quarter 2021
Warning

The first release of Q4 2020 national accounts continues the methodological changes implemented in previous publications to measure the effects of the current health and economic crisis and the economic policy measures taken to contain them. These methodological changes are detailed in the note attached to this release. Given the strong economic fluctuations in recent quarters, year-on-year evolutions are a better reflection of third-quarter activity than quarterly evolutions, and are highlighted in the commentary to this publication. The tables have been duplicated to show both quarterly evolutions (Q/Q-1) and year-on-year evolutions (Q/Q-4).

In Q4 2020, GDP in volume terms fell back: –1.3% after +18.5% in Q3 2020. The loss of activity this quarter was marked by the lockdown in effect from the end of October to mid-December and by the curfews put in place during the months of October and December. Nevertheless, the total loss of activity was much more moderate than during the first lockdown in March-May 2020: in Q4 2020, GDP was 5.0% below its level a year earlier (year-on-year change), whereas the year-on-year decline was of 18.8% in the second quarter. Over the full year 2020, GDP fell sharply (–8.3%, after +1.5% in 2019). This first estimate of the annual decline in activity and of the rest of the annual aggregates, by sum of the four quarters, will be consolidated when the 2020 provisional annual account will be published at the end of May 2021.

The effects of the second lockdown were mainly reflected in household consumption expenditure, which fell back sharply (–5.4% in Q4 after +18.2% in the previous quarter). On the other hand, gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) continued its recovery (+2.4% after +24.0%). Overall, total domestic demand (excluding changes in inventories) fell again, contributing – 2.7 points to GDP growth this quarter after +19.4 points in the previous quarter.

Foreign trade also pursued its recovery. For the second quarter in a row, exports increased more than imports (+4.8% after +21.9% for exports and +1.3% after +16.2% for imports). Overall, the foreign trade made a positive contribution to GDP growth this quarter: +0.9 points, after +0.8 points in Q3 2020. Finally, changes in inventories made a positive contribution to GDP growth (+0.4 points after – 1.7 points).

GDP - SA-WDA

GDP - SA-WDA ()
PIB
2005-Q1 492309
2005-Q2 493200
2005-Q3 495710
2005-Q4 499422
2006-Q1 503294
2006-Q2 508405
2006-Q3 508422
2006-Q4 512527
2007-Q1 516248
2007-Q2 520307
2007-Q3 522033
2007-Q4 523204
2008-Q1 525542
2008-Q2 523095
2008-Q3 521452
2008-Q4 514163
2009-Q1 505606
2009-Q2 505100
2009-Q3 505896
2009-Q4 509568
2010-Q1 511492
2010-Q2 514144
2010-Q3 517166
2010-Q4 520764
2011-Q1 526140
2011-Q2 526387
2011-Q3 527913
2011-Q4 529134
2012-Q1 529710
2012-Q2 528731
2012-Q3 529765
2012-Q4 529329
2013-Q1 529168
2013-Q2 532775
2013-Q3 532892
2013-Q4 535549
2014-Q1 535964
2014-Q2 536544
2014-Q3 539107
2014-Q4 539746
2015-Q1 542471
2015-Q2 542230
2015-Q3 544126
2015-Q4 544692
2016-Q1 548509
2016-Q2 547236
2016-Q3 548517
2016-Q4 551626
2017-Q1 556057
2017-Q2 560175
2017-Q3 564121
2017-Q4 568801
2018-Q1 569481
2018-Q2 570755
2018-Q3 572912
2018-Q4 576639
2019-Q1 579566
2019-Q2 581218
2019-Q3 582073
2019-Q4 580985
2020-Q1 546673
2020-Q2 472044
2020-Q3 559418
2020-Q4 551875

GDP - SA-WDA

  • Source : Insee

GDP 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)
2020 Q1 2020 Q2 2020 Q3 2020 Q4 2019 2020
GDP -5.9 -13.7 18.5 -1.3 1.5 -8.3
Imports -5.8 -17.0 16.2 1.3 2.6 -11.6
Household consumption expenditure -5.7 -11.6 18.2 -5.4 1.5 -7.1
General government’s consumption expenditure -2.8 -10.0 14.6 -0.4 1.7 -3.1
GFCF -10.6 -14.7 24.0 2.4 4.3 -9.8
Exports -6.9 -25.2 21.9 4.8 1.8 -16.7
Contributions:
Internal demand excluding inventory changes -6.3 -12.2 19.4 -2.7 2.2 -7.0
Inventory changes 0.7 0.8 -1.7 0.4 -0.4 0.2
Net foreign trade -0.3 -2.3 0.8 0.9 -0.3 -1.5
  • This growth rate is seasonally and working-day adjusted; volumes are chain-linked previous-year-prices volumes.
  • Source: Insee

GDP and its main components – year-on-year change

percentage change, working-day and seasonally adjusted data
GDP and its main components – year-on-year change (percentage change, working-day and seasonally adjusted data)
2020 Q1 2020 Q2 2020 Q3 2020 Q4
GDP -5.7 -18.8 -3.9 -5.0
Imports -6.1 -22.2 -10.0 -8.1
Household consumption expenditure -4.7 -16.0 -1.1 -6.8
General government’s consumption expenditure -1.4 -11.7 0.7 0.0
GFCF -8.2 -22.7 -5.3 -3.2
Exports -8.6 -31.3 -15.9 -11.0
Contributions:
Internal demand excluding inventory changes -4.8 -16.9 -1.8 -4.6
Inventory changes -0.1 0.9 -0.4 0.4
Net foreign trade -0.8 -2.7 -1.7 -0.8
  • This growth rate is seasonally and working-day adjusted; volumes are chain-linked previous-year-prices volumes.
  • Source: Insee

Total production declined only moderately (– 0.7%), due to an increase in production of goods (+2.3%).

Total production (goods and services) decreased by 0.7% in Q4 after a rebound of +18.0% in Q3 2020. Nevertheless, production of goods continued to rise this quarter (+2.3% after +19.0%), driven in particular by manufacturing industry, which seemed little affected by the measures of the second lockdown. Gas and electricity production also remained dynamic (+3.1% after +10.7%). In addition, construction was almost stable (+0.2% after +36.0%). Conversely, and due in particular to the closure of premises receiving public, production fell sharply in market services (–2.2% after +15.6%). Production also fell, but more moderately, in non-market services (–0.5% after +17.4%). All in all, the production of goods continued this quarter to move closer to its pre-crisis level (–4.6% year-on-year after – 8.2% in Q3), while services was again moving away from it (–5.0% year-on-year, after – 3.4% in Q3).

Production, 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)
2020 Q1 2020 Q2 2020 Q3 2020 Q4 2019 2020
Production of branches -5.6 -14.0 18.0 -0.7 1.5 -8.6
Goods -5.8 -16.8 19.0 2.3 -0.3 -11.2
Manufactured industry -6.8 -20.3 23.9 2.3 -0.2 -13.1
Construction -13.2 -19.7 36.0 0.2 2.6 -13.2
Market services -5.1 -12.9 15.6 -2.2 2.2 -8.2
Non-market services -3.2 -10.8 17.4 -0.5 1.2 -3.1
Household consumption -5.7 -11.6 18.2 -5.4 1.5 -7.1
Food products 2.9 -0.5 -3.3 1.1 -1.3 1.0
Energy -4.2 -11.5 15.9 -3.9 -0.1 -7.4
Engineered goods -15.6 -11.4 39.3 -8.5 1.7 -8.9
Services -5.6 -16.5 21.0 -7.4 2.0 -10.3
GFCF -10.6 -14.7 24.0 2.4 4.3 -9.8
Manufactured goods -13.3 -17.3 34.1 -1.1 4.0 -12.4
Construction -15.1 -20.9 39.2 0.2 3.7 -14.7
Market services -3.8 -6.7 5.7 7.1 5.3 -2.4
  • Source : Insee

Production, consumption and GFCF: main components – year-on-year change

percentage change, working-day and seasonally adjusted data
Production, consumption and GFCF: main components – year-on-year change (percentage change, working-day and seasonally adjusted data)
2020 Q1 2020 Q2 2020 Q3 2020 Q4
Production of branches -5.7 -19.1 -4.6 -4.9
Goods -8.2 -23.4 -8.2 -4.6
Manufactured industry -9.4 -27.4 -9.5 -5.8
Construction -12.3 -30.2 -5.4 -5.0
Market services -4.6 -17.2 -4.6 -6.6
Non-market services -2.1 -13.0 1.7 0.9
Household consumption -4.7 -16.0 -1.1 -6.8
Food products 2.7 1.9 -0.8 0.1
Energy -4.5 -17.0 -2.5 -5.5
Engineered goods -13.6 -23.0 5.4 -4.7
Services -4.5 -20.6 -4.4 -11.8
GFCF -8.2 -22.7 -5.3 -3.2
Manufactured goods -12.1 -28.0 -4.5 -5.0
Construction -13.4 -32.4 -6.7 -6.3
Market services 0.5 -7.8 -4.1 1.6
  • Source: Insee

Household consumption fell more sharply (– 5.4%) than total production

Household consumption expenditure fell sharply as a result of numerous store closures: –5.4% in Q4 2020 (after the +18.2% rebound in Q3 2020). While household consumption in food products rose slightly (+1.1% in Q4 2020 after –3.3% in Q3 2020), it fell sharply in manufactured goods (–8.5% after +39.3%) and services (–7.4% after +21.0%). The decline was also marked in energy (–3.9% after 15.9%), mainly due to lower fuel consumption resulting from reduced travel. All in all, household consumption was clearly moving away from its pre-crisis level (–6.8% year-on-year), whereas it had almost caught up with it in the previous quarter (–1.1% year-on-year).

Over the full year 2020, household consumption fell by 7.1%, after +1.5% in 2019.

In contrast to the first lockdown, investment increased in Q4 2020 (+2.4%).

In Q4 2020, total GFCF continued to rise (+2.4% this quarter, after +24.0% in Q3 2020). Total GFCF did not really seem affected by the second lockdown, unlike the first. Thus, GFCF in market services was very dynamic (+7.1% after +5.7%), driven in particular by a remarkably high number of property transactions, probably due to a catch-up effect from previous quarters. Finally, construction investment remained steady this quarter (+0.2%): although well below its pre-crisis level (–6.3% year-on-year), it did not collapse, contrary to what was seen in the first quarter (–32.4% year-on-year in Q2).

Over the full year 2020, total GFCF declined sharply (–9.8% after +4.3% in 2019).

Foreign trade appeared to be less affected by the second lockdown and the foreign trade deficit tightened

For the second quarter in a row, exports increased more than imports (respectively +4.8% after +21.9%, against +1.3% after +16.2%). Indeed, the sectors that are buoyant for French exports (transport equipment, pharmaceuticals, etc.) continued to grow – with the notable exception of international tourism. Foreign trade thus made a positive contribution to GDP growth this quarter: +0.9 points, after +0.8 points in Q3 2020. The trade deficit narrowed: in current euros, it was reduced in Q4 2020 by half, compared to its low point in the second quarter (– € 9.4 billion in Q4, compared to – € 18.8 billion in Q2). However, foreign trade remained well below its pre-crisis level: –11.0% in volume terms year-on-year for exports this quarter, –8.1% for imports.

Over the full year 2020, the contribution of foreign trade to GDP growth was largely negative (–1.5 points).

Changes in inventories made a small contribution to GDP

Due to a differentiated impact of lockdown, which was more pronounced on demand than on production in Q4, inventory changes contributed +0.4 points to GDP growth this quarter, compared with –1.7 points in Q3 2020.

Over the full year 2020, changes in inventories contributed +0.2 points to GDP growth.

Households’ 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)
2020 Q1 2020 Q2 2020 Q3 2020 Q4 2019
HDI -0.5 -2.5 3.6 3.1
HDI (purchasing power) -0.6 -2.3 3.4 2.1
HDI by cu* (purchasing power) -0.8 -2.4 3.3 1.5
Adjusted HDI (purchasing power) -1.5 -4.9 6.9 2.0
Saving rate (level) 19.3 26.9 16.5 14.9
Financial saving rate (level) 10.2 19.2 6.7 4.6
  • * cu: consumption unit
  • Source: Insee

Ratios 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)
2020 Q1 2020 Q2 2020 Q3 2020 Q4 2019
Profit share 29.2 27.4 29.9 33.2
Investment ratio 24.3 25.6 25.0 24.5
Savings ratio 19.7 16.4 20.9 23.2
Self-financing ratio 81.0 64.2 83.5 94.7
  • Source: Insee

Expenditure, receipts and net borrowing of public administrations

level, WDA-SA data
Expenditure, receipts and net borrowing of public administrations (level, WDA-SA data)
2020 Q1 2020 Q2 2020 Q3 2020 Q4 2019
In billions of euros
Total expenditure 338.6 343.8 339.9 1348.1
Total receipts 308.1 281.1 312.7 1275.0
Net lending (+) or borrowing (–) -30.5 -62.8 -27.3 -73.1
In % of GDP
Net lending (+) or borrowing (–) -5.3 -12.2 -4.6 -3.0
  • Source : Insee

Revisions

The GDP growth estimate for Q3 2020 is revised upward by 0.2 points to reach +18.5%. This revision is due to the integration of new data, to methodological adjustments, and to the revisions of existing indicators.

To go further

Next publication: February 26, 2021 at 08:45 a.m.

Documentation

Methodology (pdf, 434 Ko)


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