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Economy in Brief

French IP Rebounds Without Enthusiasm
by Robert Brusca February 11, 2008

France's IP was kicked down in November as a transit strike slowed the France economy. A December rebound was expected. But the rebound is less that the November drop, stirring suspicions that growth may be more fundamentally impaired in France. Certainly Q4 is looking weaker. IP in the quarter to date period (which is now for the full quarter) is up by just 1.1% SAAR. This compares with a 4.8% rise in the previous quarter.

The sector growth rates do not show a consistent pattern. The consumer sector by itself does show a clear trend to deceleration. Intermediate goods output is waffling around zero. Capital goods output is still strong. Strength in capital goods – or relative strength – is one continuing feature of Euro Area economies. Even though the consumer sector is weak capital goods output has remained strong with few exceptions in Euro Area nations. The chart shows that consumer and intermediate goods output trends are more of problem while the capital goods trends continue to be firm.

French IP excluding Construction
Saar except m/m Dec-07 Nov-07 Oct-07 3-mo 6-mo 12-mo Quarter-to-date
IP total 0.7% -1.7% 2.0% 3.9% 3.3% 1.2% 1.1%
Consumer Goods -0.4% -1.9% 0.3% -7.8% -4.2% -2.1% -7.8%
Capital Goods 0.1% 0.5% 1.2% 7.4% 6.2% 4.1% 3.3%
Intermediate Goods 0.0% -1.9% 1.8% -0.4% 0.0% -1.3% -1.5%
Auto 3.5% -5.0% 6.4% 19.6% 15.2% 5.4% 9.2%
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