France grows 1.5 % in 2010
France's economy grew 1.5 percent in 2010 and is set for two percent growth in 2011, official figures showed Tuesday, in line with earlier forecasts.
"This is not disappointing because it corresponds to the latest forecasts," said Economy Minister Christine Lagarde on France 2 television. "It is a sign that the recovery is there."
Growth in the fourth quarter of 2010 alone was 0.3 percent, according to the figures from national statistics agency INSEE -- lower than earlier forecasts of 0.5 to 0.6 percent.
"I hope the first quarter of 2011 will be much better," Lagarde said.
She said mass strikes in several sectors in October slowed growth.
Lagarde reaffirmed the government's target of two percent growth for 2011, although this has been judged over-optimistic by analysts.
France suffered a recession in 2009 with a 2.5 percent contraction.
© 2011 AFP