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French economy expands more than estimated in Q1

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Staff Writer | May 30, 2017
The French economy expanded more than estimated in the first quarter, second estimate from the statistical office Insee showed Tuesday.
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France   Exports from France dropped 0.8%
Gross domestic product climbed 0.4% sequentially in the first quarter, slower than the 0.5% increase seen in the fourth quarter. However, the rate exceeded the initial estimate of 0.3%.

On the expenditure side, household spending grew at a slower pace of 0.1%, while growth in government spending held steady at 0.3%.

Investment advanced 1.2%, faster than the 0.5% increase in the fourth quarter.

Exports dropped 0.8%, reversing a 1% rise in previous quarter. On the other hand, imports growth accelerated to 1.4% from 0.6%.

Consequently, foreign trade balance contributed -0.7 points to GDP growth. Conversely, changes in inventories contributed positively by 0.7 points.

In 2016, the economy had expanded 1.1% versus 1% in 2015.

French consumer confidence strengthened in May to the highest level in nearly ten years, while consumer spending rose for the first time in three months in April, figures from the statistical office Insee showed Tuesday.

The consumer confidence index climbed to 102.0 in May from 100.0 in April.

Moreover, the latest reading remained above its long-term average and at its highest level since August 2007, when it was 104.0.

Households' opinion of their personal financial situation in the past twelve months improved slightly in May, with the index rising to -19 from -20 in April. Their outlook also rose to -5 from -9.

Similarly, the current saving capacity indicator increased to 14 in May from 13 in April, while the expected saving capacity remained stable at -2.

In a separate report, the statistical office revealed that consumer spending climbed 0.5% month-over-month in April, reversing a 0.1% drop in March.

In April, energy consumption recovered by 3.1% after declining in the previous two months. Consumption of food products grew at a faster rate of 0.9% after a 0.1% rise in March.