EU upgrades French growth forecast to 2.4 percent

7th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

BRUSSELS, May 7, 2007 (AFP) - The European Commission on Monday upgraded its forecast for French economic growth this year to 2.4 percent with a slight dip to 2.3 percent forecast for 2008.

BRUSSELS, May 7, 2007 (AFP) - The European Commission on Monday upgraded its forecast for French economic growth this year to 2.4 percent with a slight dip to 2.3 percent forecast for 2008.

The 2007 figure, published in a semi-annual update of its European growth forecasts, was up on an earlier interim estimate of 2.2 percent issued in February by the EU's executive arm.

Despite the improved outlook, the French figures lag behind the the average for the 13 nations which use the euro currency, where growth was estimated at 2.6 percent for this year and 2.5 percent for 2008.

France's unemployment rate, though remaining high, was estimated to fall from 9.4 percent in 2006 to 8.9 percent this year and keep easing to 8.5 percent in 2008.

The French economy outperformed targets in the first two quarters, French Economy Minister Thierry Breton said on Monday, only hours after the victory of rightwing reformist Nicolas Sarkozy in the presidential election.

Sarkozy campaigned on a platform of radical reforms to free-up the economy, ratcheting up some measures already being tried by the centre-right government of which he was a rebel member until recently.

Breton said that growth of the economy in the first and second quarters would be "revised upwards" to "between 2.5 and 3.0 percent" on a 12-month basis.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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