Friday, February 12, 2010

By the Numbers ... Buy the Numbers?

French GDP fell 2.2% last year--the worst performance since WWII. Of course this puts it in the same category as most other major economies. The bright spot was growth of 0.6% in the last quarter of 2009, but this was dimmed by the large positive contribution to GDP of inventory replenishment, which suggests that the economy may not yet be around the bend. On the other hand, household consumption was up 0.9% in the last quarter, but investment by firms was down and investment in housing was way down. Exports were also off, and government investment has decreased for the past two quarters despite the stimulus spending.

So, on the whole, a very mixed picture, which does not look like robust economic recovery.

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