EcoWeek

Healthy unemployment figures

Eco week 20-04 // 31 January 2020  
economic-research.bnpparibas.com  
5
ECONOMIC PULSE  
FRANCE: HEALTHY UNEMPLOYMENT FIGURES  
The economic indicators on our radar screen portray a French economy The unemployment rate stands out as the most upbeat indicator. (In  
that is still looking rather strong and upbeat. In the recent period, most our radar, the Eurostat monthly series have an inverted sign, which  
indicators are higher than their long-term and short-term averages, means that an increase is positive for the economy). In December 2019,  
i.e. the momentum is slightly positive. Specifically, the signals from the unemployment rate slipped to 8.4% of the labour force, the lowest  
survey data (available through January) are more positive than hard rate since the previous downward phase in late 2006 and early 2007.  
data concerning activity (which are not as up to date, with November The unemployment rate has fallen by half a point in a year, and is down  
and December being the most recent months). A priori this augurs well by 2 points from its peak in mid-2015. Unemployment continues to  
for growth in early 2020.  
decline slowly but surely. Although being a lagging indicator, it is still  
good news. It mirrors the sharp drop in the number of applicants for  
unemployment benefits in 2019 - down 121,000 in a year for category  
A unemployed, or 157,000 for all jobless categories combined, which is  
about three times bigger than the decline reported in late 2018.  
The year 2019 was characterised not only by the downward resilience  
of French growth –except for Q4, which was particularly affected by  
strikes– but also by the upward resilience of inflation. Core inflation  
certainly increased in the last months of the year, reaching 1% in  
December. But this is still uncomfortably low, and according to our  
scenario, it is unlikely getting much higher in 2020-2021.  
Hélène Baudchon  
QUATERLY CHANGES  
M3M (actual)  
SURPRISE (Z-SCORE)  
-
-- M3M (4 months ago)  
Business Confidence  
(Jan-20)  
Business climate  
Consumer Confidence  
Jan-20)  
(
-
Manufacturing  
3,0  
2,0  
1,0  
0,0  
-
-
-
Business climate  
- Services  
Exports of goods  
HICP,y/y (Jan-20)  
Industrial  
production  
Business climate  
- Construction  
Industrial Production,  
m/m (Nov-19)  
1,0  
2,0  
3,0  
Consumer  
spending  
Business climate  
- Retail sales  
Consumer Spending,  
m/m (Dec-19)  
Composite PMI  
Unemployment  
Rate  
Employment  
climate  
(Jan-20)  
Consumer  
confidence  
Unemp. Rate  
Q3'19, sign inverted)  
Core HICP  
(
HICP  
GDP, q/q (Q4' 19)  
SOURCE: BLOOMBERG, BNP PARIBAS  
SOURCE: THOMSON REUTERS, BNP PARIBAS  
Note : the indicators in the radar and surprise charts are all transformed into z-scores. By construction, the z-scores have mean zero and their  
values, which indicate how far the indicator is removed from its long-term average, are in the interval between -3 and 3 in almost all cases.  
In the radar chart, the blue area shows the actual conditions of economic activity. It is compared with the situation four months earlier (dot-  
ted-line). An expansion of the blue area signals an improvement. In the right pane, the surprise is an actual outcome that differs from the market  
forecast (Bloomberg).  
The bank  
for a changing  
world  
QUI SOMMES-NOUS ? Trois équipes d'économistes (économies OCDE, économies émergentes et risque pays, économie bancaire) forment la Direction des Etudes Economiques de BNP Paribas.
Ce site présente leurs analyses.
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