France GDP Contracts Less Than Estimated In Q1

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The French economy contracted less than initially estimated in the first quarter but remained in a deep recession as coronavirus pandemic weighed on spending, investment and exports, detailed results from the statistical office Insee showed Friday.

Gross domestic product fell 5.3 percent sequentially instead of 5.8 percent decline estimated initially, which was the biggest fall since the series began in 1949.

The economy had contracted 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019. Two consecutive declines in GDP indicate that the economy has entered a technical recession.

On the expenditure side, household consumption expenditure logged an unprecedented drop of 5.6 percent after rising 0.3 percent. Total gross fixed capital formation fell more sharply by 10.5 percent, following a 0.1 percent rise.

Consequently, total domestic demand contributed -6.0 points to GDP growth.

Imports fell 5.7 percent versus a 0.7 percent drop a quarter ago. At the same time, exports decreased 6.1 percent compared to a 0.4 percent fall in the prior quarter.
Overall, the contribution of foreign trade balance to GDP growth was zero versus +0.1 points a quarter ago.

Conversely, changes in inventories contributed positively to GDP growth by 0.6 points.

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