A rebound in exports helped French output develop by 0.2 per cent over the primary three months of this yr, underlining the resilience of the eurozone’s second-largest economy after a number of weeks of strikes.
Foreign gross sales of products and companies rose by 1.1 per cent, serving to to compensate for weak shopper spending following months of business motion. Imports additionally fell 0.6 per cent, which means commerce offered a considerable carry to the economy.
The acceleration was consistent with analysts’ expectations and signifies the economy of the 20-country foreign money zone is proving extra strong than anticipated after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine raised fears of an power disaster.
Analysts assume the energy of eurozone development and inflation figures revealed right now and early subsequent week may determine whether or not the European Central Bank retains elevating rates of interest by half a proportion level or slows to 1 / 4 level transfer.
Insee, the French statistics company, said enterprise funding was weaker within the first quarter whereas family spending was flat.
Internal demand was unfavorable for the second consecutive quarter, even earlier than stock modifications, which additional weighed on development. French items consumption fell 0.2 per cent within the first quarter, Insee said.
Widespread strikes in protest over pension reforms have introduced French public transport to a standstill. The French central financial institution mentioned earlier this month that industrial motion hit exercise in transportation and storage sectors in addition to meals companies.
Gilles Moëc, chief economist at French insurer Axa, mentioned earlier strikes had been estimated by Insee to trigger not more than a short lived 0.2 proportion level hit to gross home product, including that earlier disputes had been extra disruptive.
The French economy rebounded quicker than most European international locations from the affect of the pandemic, boosted by beneficiant authorities assist. But it has underperformed since final yr when it grew 2.6 per cent in contrast with the eurozone’s 3.5 per cent development.
“In 2022 France was protected, relative to countries such as Germany, by its lower sensitivity to energy prices and Chinese demand,” mentioned Moëc.
Energy prices have fallen sharply because the begin of the yr, whereas China has reopened its economy, easing pandemic-era restrictions. Moëc predicted that if these tendencies continued French development “would probably converge” with different euro space international locations.
Earlier this month the IMF forecast the French economy would develop 0.7 per cent this yr and 1.3 per cent subsequent yr, barely underperforming the broader eurozone.