April 27, 2018 / 5:35 AM / 3 months ago

French Q1 growth slows to 0.3 pct on weaker investment, exports

    PARIS, April 27 (Reuters) - French economic growth slowed
slightly more than expected in the first quarter as business
investment and exports eased, a first estimate from the INSEE
statistics agency said on Friday.
    The euro zone's second-biggest economy grew 0.3 percent in
the first three months - the slowest rate since the third
quarter of 2016 - after expanding 0.7 percent in the final three
months of last year, INSEE said. 
    Economists had on average expected growth of 0.4 percent,
with forecasts ranging from 0.2 percent to 0.6 percent in a
Reuters poll of 30 economists.
    Consumer spending growth, traditionally the main motor of
the French economy, grew only 0.2 percent in the first quarter
despite exceptionally cold temperatures boosting energy
consumption, the same rate as in the previous quarter.
    Meanwhile businesses slowed investment growth to 0.5 percent
from 1.6 percent in the previous three months, while exports
dipped marginally after a spike in the previous quarter. Since
imports were flat, foreign trade had no impact on overall
growth.
        
                                        QUARTERS                
                           Q2'17   Q3'17   Q4'17   Q1'18    2017
 Total GDP                   0.6     0.5     0.7     0.3     2.0
 Imports                    -0.3     2.0     0.4     0.0     4.1
 Household consumption       0.3     0.5     0.2     0.2     1.3
 Public consumption          0.5     0.5     0.4     0.3     1.6
 Investment                  0.9     0.9     1.1     0.6     3.8
  - Business investment      0.9     1.2     1.6     0.5     4.4
  - Household investment     1.4     0.9     0.6     0.5     5.4
  - Public investment        0.1    -0.2     0.5     0.9    -1.0
 Exports                     2.0     0.7     2.5    -0.1     3.3
                                                                
 Contributions to                                               
 growth:                                                  
 Domestic demand             0.5     0.6     0.5     0.3     1.9
 exstocks                                                 
 Stocks variations          -0.5     0.3    -0.4     0.0     0.5
 Trade balance               0.7    -0.4     0.6     0.0    -0.3
 
    For a graphic of GDP by contributions: reut.rs/2oQ8Pxu

    For further details from INSEE: here

 (Reporting by Leigh Thomas;
Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)
  
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