Insee confirms a growth of 0.3% in the first quarter

Insee confirms a slight slowdown of French growth. In its new estimate released Wednesday, the institute announced that the GDP has increased by 0.3% in the fir

Insee confirms a growth of 0.3% in the first quarter

Insee confirms a slight slowdown of French growth. In its new estimate released Wednesday, the institute announced that the GDP has increased by 0.3% in the first quarter after a 0.4% increase on the last three months of 2018. Insee highlights an increase in consumer expenditure of households (+0.4% after +0.3 percent), but a negative contribution of foreign trade to growth (0.3 point). The overall investment has also slightly slowed, with an increase of 0.5% after an increase of 0.6% in the fourth quarter of 2018.

in the first three months of the year, the Insee insist on the "dynamism" of the purchasing power of households, which is advancing 0.9%. "Payroll received by households speeds up significantly (+1.1% after +0.6 per cent) because of hardship grants paid out by some companies", he explains, in reference to the "premium Macron" défiscalisée, paid by companies at the request of the head of State in the midst of a crisis of the "yellow vests". Insee also notes the positive effects of the exemption of social security contributions paid by the employee on the overtime. Thanks to this measure, "the social security contributions paid by households will continue to decline by 0.5% (after -2,9%)". Careful, the French have preferred to put a portion of this additional purchasing power from the side. Their savings rate has continued to increase over the first three months of the year, to 15.3% after 14.9% in the fourth quarter of 2018.

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according To the Insee, the companies have also benefited in the first quarter of the government measures. Their margins grew "strongly" over the period to 32.6%, thanks to the accumulation of the replacement of the SIEC by lower costs sustainable and the payment of the CICE to the title of 2018. "In addition, the negative contribution of real wages, sustained by the premiums are exceptional, but this is compensated by the positive impact on the margin rate of the evolution of the productivity gains and terms-of-trade," notes the Insee. The transformation of the CICE, coupled to a decrease of revenues income tax on companies, leads on the other hand the public deficit. The latter has reached 3.6% of GDP in the first quarter.

A growth of 1.7% in 2018

Insee has also confirmed its estimates for 2018. Last year, the GDP growth is therefore set to 1.7%, a net slowdown compared to 2.3% in 2017. Consumption had marked up+0.7 point after +1.1 percentage points), as did business investment (+0.5% after +0.6 point) and households (+0.1 point after +0.3 point). Conversely, the contribution of foreign trade was up (+0.7 percentage point, after 0.1 percentage point).

Updated Date: 31 May 2019, 00:00

Kathleen Lees

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