France: Look on the bright side of life

5 min

It is now obvious that France experienced in 2018 a visible deceleration from the 2017 economic performance. Our growth forecast for France is revised down to +1.5% (+2.3% in 2017). The missing consumer is not the entire story, since residential investment was the other big disappointment. Both household consumption and investment stalled during H1. Purchasing power issues were a drag on performance, along with policy moves (scarcer support to residential investment). However, there are reasons to expect for a recovery soon, since those burdensome factors should fade. Moreover, corporate and public investments have not shown any signs of faltering this year. In the corporate sector, high capacity utilization rates bode well for a good momentum (+3.7% in 2018). Public works also show good performance. Here, catch-up effects are pervasive since the output of the sector decreased by -11% in real terms from 2011 to 2016.