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France: December data points to contraction for the first time in 3 years – ING

Julien Manceaux, senior economist at ING, points out that the first estimates of French PMI activity indices in December are painting a grim picture of activity.

Key Quotes

“Two factors seem to be at play. First, the manufacturing sector is still experiencing delays in car production due to the change in environmental norms which have been affecting both production and sales since the summer. Second, confidence in the economic outlook has been hit in December by the Yellow Vest protests. This effect was particularly high in the service sector of course, and we expect it was concentrated in logistics, which suffered from declining orders and road blockades, retail and hospitality.”

“The sharp contraction in the service sector from 55.1 in November to 49.6 in December, confirms that the effect on GDP growth should be close to 0.1pp. If this does not affect our 1.6% growth forecast for 2018, caution is necessary for 2019.”

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