France is the third largest economy in the EU, supported by a buoyant aerospace industry, which, together with the automotive and construction industry, is boosting industrial fastener demand. This trend is set to continue, with a very positive outlook for aircraft production and aerospace-grade fasteners foreseen, led by growing commercial aircraft production and strong defence spending. This is France’s biggest industrial sector, followed by the automotive industry. Ranked second in the world after the United States, it reported record sales of €65.4 billion in 2018, up 1.2% on 2017, thanks to the success of export giants Airbus, Safran, Dassault and Thales. The French government also plans to increase defence spending by over 40 % over the next 6 years to 2025, a 2019 study on the global aerospace and defence industry by Deloittes shows.
The French car market is predicted to continue growing steadily from 2019 to 2025, benefiting the fastener market, according to a study by the French Car Manufacturers Association. Passenger car sales were up 3.2% in 2018 compared to 2017, reaching over 2.1 million, and marking the fifth consecutive year of growth. Rising manufacturing activity will also support growth for fasteners in machinery, electrical and electronic products, and fabricated metals. The French construction market is returning to growth too, up 1.2% in June 2019 on 2018 levels, as construction spending is rebounding. Despite current trade tensions and in line with the EU rate, France’s annual GDP is forecast to grow by 1.3% in 2019 to reach $2.76 trillion and by 1.4% in 2020, driven by domestic demand, an EU Commission report shows.
Source: European Commission; French Car Manufacturers Association