Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.
France’s economy has defied the doubters by growing faster than expected, despite signs of a global slowdown.
The eurozone’s second-largest economy expanded by 0.3% in the third quarter of 2019, new official figures show.
That’s faster than the 0.2% expected, and matches the 0.3% recorded in April-June.
INSEE, the national statistics office, reports that household spending accelerated over the summer. It rose by 0.3% in July-September, up from 0.2%, as consumers kept the economy ticking over.
However, net trade had a negative impact on growth. That’s because imports jumped by 1.4% (having shrunk 0.3% in Q2), while exports only rose by 0.3% (up from 0.1%). A sign that trade conflict is hurting, perhaps.
But with companies continuing to invest (+0.9%, down from 1.2%), and restocking their inventories, the overall growth rate remained steady.
On an annual basis, France’s economy has only grown by 1.3% over the last year. That’s hardly spectacular.
But at a time when the eurozone is struggling, and the world economy is slowing, president Emmanuel Macron may be quite content with today’s data.
More to follow…..
Also coming up today
We don’t get Q3 GDP data from Germany until next month, but today’s unemployment figures may bolster fears that it is in recession.
New GDP data for America is expected to show growth slowed, as the trade war with China hits demand and confidence.
Then the big event, the Federal Reserve decision. America’s central bank will probably vote to cut interest rates for the third time this year, to a 1.5% to 1.75% range.
Fed chair Jerome Powell will then hold a press conference, where he’ll probably field more questions about the state of the economy, inflation expectations, and recent liquidity shortfalls in the money markets.
He’ll also be asked about the stream of attacks from Donald Trump (who keeps claiming the Fed is clueless).
- 8.55am GMT: German unemployment total for October – expected to rise by 2,000
- 10am GMT: Eurozone economic, business and consumer confidence figures for October
- 12.30pm GMT: US GDP for Q3 2019:
- 6pm GMT: Federal Reserve monetary policy decision
- 6.30pm GMT: Fed chair Jerome Powell’s press conference