The French economy is the second largest economy in the Eurozone behind that of Germany.
In Q3, the French economy managed growth of 0.3% which was regarded as “resilient” against the general background of economic output within Europe at the moment. The size of the French economy in 2018 was estimated to be $2.8 trillion. In comparison, the German economy was worth a shade under $4 trillion at the same time.
France has managed a steady 0.3% growth across all three quarters of 2019 so far. Analysts had been expecting a slightly slower expansion of 0.2% in Q3. The French economy has seen an average expansion of 0.48% from 1949 to date with a record high expansion of 8% in Q3 1968 and a record contraction of -5.3% in Q2 of the same year.
If the data is looked at over the full year to Q3 (Q3 2018 to Q3 2019), growth came in at 1.3% which was a slight slowdown over the preceding period which came in at 1.4%.
Unemployment in France is relatively high, in comparison to the UK and Germany at 8.6% (up from 8.5% in Q2), but it has been trending lower since 2015. The average value was 9.24% (1996 to 2019) with a peak of 10.7 in Q1 1997 and a record low of 7.2% in Q1 2008. Against this backdrop, the current unemployment figure suggests that the economy is doing reasonably well.
In terms of the current national picture for inflation, the current situation shows that it is low, well below the ECB target of 2%. It stood at 0.8% for the year to October. The current figure is well below the long-term French average figure of 4.35% (1958 to date) with peak inflation coming in at a dizzying 18.8% (April 1968) and a record low of -0.7% seen in July 2009.