France records 0.3% Q4 GDP contraction

15 February 2013

France's economy contracted during the final quarter of 2012 as production from the country's key industrial sectors declined.

Official data compiled by the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (Insee) has shown that French gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 0.3 per cent in the period between October and December.

This represents a marked reverse on the growth of 0.1 per cent recorded in the previous three-month timeframe and means that, for the year as a whole, France's GDP was static - a significantly worse performance than the expansion of 1.7 per cent seen in 2011.

Insee attributed this downward trend to a number of factors, such as the fact that gross fixed capital formation declined by one per cent throughout quarter four after dropping by 0.5 per cent in the third quarter.

Elsewhere, French production on goods and services fell by 0.5 per cent in quarter four after posting growth of 0.3 per cent in quarter three, while output from manufacturers dipped by 2.3 per cent.

By Asim Shah

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