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5/18/2018
Q1 growth weakness is for a (large?) part temporary 5/4/2018
Q1 2018 growth deceleration was more pronounced than expected (0.3% q/q according to the first estimate after 0.7% in Q4 2017). This weakness can be attributed to several factors. It is nonetheless hard to precisely disentangle the contribution of each factor. However, we are inclined to see this growth weakness as temporary rather than the first sign of a more entrenched slowdown.
France: an update on growth, the budget and reforms 4/20/2018
New growth forecasts, a new stability programme, and a new national reform programme. There has been a lot of economic news recently.
High expectations 4/16/2018
In 2017, French growth moved up a gear: it reached 2% in annual average terms, after 1.1% in 2016, and accelerated in the fourth quarter to a pace close to 3% a year. 2018 is expected to be another year of strong growth (2.3%, in annual average terms, according to our forecasts) but with a different quarterly pattern and breakdown. Indeed, we see growth plateauing or decelerating slightly from one quarter to the next. The surveys data available for the first months of the 2018 are sending a similar message of a likely peak in growth in Q1. In terms of its engines, we expect average annual growth to be supported by an acceleration in household consumption and exports which would take over from private investment.
4/9/2018
France: more areas of improvement 3/30/2018
Although France continues to report macroeconomic and fiscal imbalances, they are no longer seen as being excessive by the European Commission.
France: What is the growth outlook for Q1 2018? 3/30/2018
After another slight upward revision, Q4 2017 GDP growth is now estimated at 0.7% q/q. We expect growth to run at the same pace in Q1 2018 but there is a downside risk around this forecast given the available data to date.
France: consumer confidence has lost the ground won over the past year 2/28/2018
In February 2018, French consumers’ confidence registered a sharp fall (-4 points) and fell back to its long-term average (100). This decline is due to the degradation of their judgment on their personal financial situation and on the standard of living in France, regarding past trends as well as prospects. A notable exception is the households’ opinion on unemployment which avoided the fall. This reduced confidence possibly bears the brunt of the already effective fiscal measures of the 2018 budget and shows a greater sensitivity to tax hikes (generalized social security transfer – CSG and fuel taxes) than to tax cuts (employee contributions on health and unemployment insurance). This deterioration, which echoes the less-important one of business confidence, is a negative signal but not a matter of concern. Consumer confidence should resume its rise, supported by the improvement of the labor market situation and by the coming tax cuts (housing tax, solidarity tax on wealth – ISF, etc.) which will be larger than the hikes (tobacco).
France: About the unemployment rate’s exceptional decline 2/23/2018
Unemployment figures for fourth-quarter 2017 were surprisingly good, with an exceptionally big drop in the unemployment rate.
France: New good news 2/23/2018
Business and consumer confidence surveys surprised expectations on the downside in January.

ABOUT US Three teams of economists (OECD countries research, emerging economies and country risk, banking economics) make up BNP Paribas Economic Research Department.
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