Good morning, and welcome to our ongoing review of the global economy, financial markets, the eurozone, and business.
With discouragement over Europe, France gave the eurozone a much needed impetus, surpassing growth forecasts for the last quarter.
France's GDP grew by 0.3% in October-December, as new figures show, crushing fears that growth may fall to 0.1%.
This corresponds to the rise in France in the third quarter, easing concerns about the recession.
Economists were prepared for bad numbers, after the “Vest Jaunes” protests, which covered Paris for many weeks, with mass demonstrations, quarrels with the police, checkpoints and attacks on shops and cars.
Indeed, consumer spending and investment fell in the last quarter.
But the French economy continues to grow, according to the statistical office of INSEE, thanks to export growth.
Household consumption expenditures slowed down (0.0% after + 0.4%), also gross fixed capital formation slowed down (GFCF: + 0.2% after + 1.0%). Overall, final domestic demand slowed down without taking into account changes in stocks: it contributed to the growth of GDP by 0.1 points after 0.5 points in the previous quarter.
import rebounded in the fourth quarter (+ 1.6% after -0.7%) and export significantly accelerated (+ 2.4% after + 0.2%). In general, the foreign trade balance again had a positive effect on GDP growth: +0.2 points, after +0.3 points in the 3rd quarter. Conversely, changes in stocks negatively affected GDP growth (-0.1 points after -0.5 points).
The numbers are not quite Superbe – Annual growth rates in France fell to 1.5% in 2018 from 2.3% in 2017. This underlines how the Eurobum has come to naught.
The reaction is to follow ….
Also fit today
The United States and China should resume their trade negotiations today; marred by criminal charges against Huawei.
The pound may be volatile today after the deputies voted for Teresa May to return to Brussels to reconsider Irish support in their Brexit deal – what the EU said no, nein and to anything
Last night, the sterling fell slightly, losing one cent against the US dollar, as traders estimate that brexit without transactions is now more likely.
This may push stocks in London this morning (as a weak pound increases overseas earnings).
Central Bank of America is going tonight to determine monetary policy. The Fed is likely to leave interest rates on hold, but this can underscore how the closure of the US government has damaged the economy.
In addition, we are receiving new data on borrowing in the UK, which may show a decrease in the number of approved mortgage loans in the past month.
- 9:30 am GMT: consumer lending and mortgage data in the UK
- 10:00 GMT: Eurozone consumer confidence
- 19:00 GMT: The US Federal Reserve sets interest rates