Economic flash France – In March, inflation slows down and supply difficulties are reduced

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In his last point of conjuncturethe Banque de France is raising its growth forecast for the 1er quarter (at +0.2% instead of +0.1%) and once again highlights the relative resilience of French economic activity. The business climate was stable at the end of March in services and dipped slightly in industry, close to its long-term average and deteriorated by agri-food and energy-intensive sectors. Although positively oriented, the climate in the building industry dropped significantly at the end of March. Supply difficulties continue to decline, which began in April 2022, while recruitment difficulties remain high (see below).

In March, the consumer price index (CPI) slowed slightly over one year, standing at +5.7% after +6.3% in February. Over one month, the CPI increased by +0.9%.

The benchmark rent index at 1er quarter of 2023 grew by +3.5% year-on-year given the cap imposed by article 12 of law no. 2022-1158 on emergency measures for the protection of purchasing power ; without the capping measures, it would have increased by 6.26%.

In March, the prices of consumer goods sold in supermarkets increased by +15.0% over one year (after +14.2%); they increased by +1.4% (after +1.1%) over one month.

Focus on supply difficulties

The Banque de France business survey at the end of March shows an almost continuous decline in supply difficulties in industry and construction for almost a year ; however, recruitment difficulties have remained relatively stable since September 2021 in construction and services. The Banque de France’s uncertainty indicator is also stable, below the peak reached in the fall in connection with the risks of energy supply cuts. However, it remains twice the 2018-2019 average. Finally, 30% of business leaders surveyed declared that past and future activity was significantly impacted by changes in energy prices and availability. This figure, globally stable since December, is however down significantly for activity. expected in industry and construction.


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