This slowdown can be explained by sluggish household consumption and weakened foreign trade.
French economic activity stalled in the third quarter, growing by 0.2% after rising 0.5% in the spring, INSEE confirmed on Wednesday. According to the National Institute of Statistics, which confirms its first estimate published at the end of October, this slowdown is explained by sluggish household consumption and a negative contribution from foreign trade.
Between July and September, however, household purchasing power rebounded thanks to an acceleration in their gross disposable income (+2.6% after 1.1% in the previous quarter), driven in particular by an anticipated revaluation in July of benefits social benefits: “Social benefits in cash rebounded strongly (+2.9% after +0.1%), under the effect of the early revaluation in July of basic retirement pensions and family benefits, and the payment of exceptional back-to-school assistance for low-income households,” notes INSEE.
The household savings rate rose from 15.8% to 16.6%. It rebounded, even as consumer spending by individuals increased, but less than their gross disposable income. However, this rate remains below previous years: in 2021, it had reached 18.7% of gross disposable income, and up to 20.9% in 2020 – the highest level since 1975.