Bank of France lifts 4th-quarter French growth outlook

8th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

The Bank of France said on Wednesday it had lifted its fourth-quarter projection for French economic growth to 0.6 percent from 0.5 percent forecast last month.

French gross domestic product expanded by 0.4 percent in the third quarter, 0.7 percent in the second and 0.2 percent in the first.

The national statistics institute INSEE has forecast a 0.4-percent expansion in the final three months of the year, which would take annual growth in 2010 to 1.6 percent. The official government forecast is 1.5 percent this year.

Separately, the French customs authority and the budget ministry said on Wednesday that France's trade deficit narrowed to 3.431 billion euros (4.5 billion dollars) in October from 4.378 billion in September in response to strikes and economic disruption.

The ministry said the contraction in the deficit reflected a decline in imports of hydrocarbons caused by blockages at several oil terminals by workers protesting government plans to extend the retirement age.

The value of energy imports as a result declined by one billion euros in October.

© 2010 AFP

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