France GDP dropped by -5.8% qoq in Q1, worse than expectation of -4.0% qoq. That;s also the largest contraction since record started in 1949. In particular, it’s bigger than the ones recorded in Q1 2009 (–1.6%) or in Q2 1968 (–5.3%).

INSEE also noted that GDP’s negative evolution in Q1 2020 is primarily linked to the shut-down of “non-essential” activities in the context of the implementation of the lockdown since mid-March.

Looking at the main components, imports dropped -5.9% qoq. Household consumption expenditure dropped -6.1% qoq. General government consumption expenditure dropped -2.4% qoq. Gross fixed capital formation dropped -11.8% qoq. Exports dropped -6.5% qoq.

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Also released, consumption spending dropped -17.9% mom in March, well below expectation of -5.5% mom. It’s the largest monthly contraction since record began in 1980. Manufactured good consumption dropped sharply (–42.3% after –0.6%) and energy expenditure decreased markedly (–11.4% after –0.9%). Only food consumption increased (+7.8% after –0.1%).


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