France predicts 0.5 percent growth in second quarter
France's economy will grow by 0.5 percent in the second quarter of the year despite the debt crisis ravaging the eurozone, the Bank of France predicted Monday.
Last year France suffered its worst recession since World War II, seeing its gross domestic product shrink by 2.2 percent, but it has begun to recover and the government expects growth of 1.4 percent in 2010.
The state statistics agency INSEE has been cautious, predicting only 0.2 percent growth in the first quarter and 0.3 in the second. INSEE will officially confirm the first quarter figure on Wednesday.
But the central bank is already more optimistic, announcing Monday that it thought the economy had already grown by 0.4 percent in the first quarter and that growth would accelerate in the second.
France was plunged into difficulties by the financial crisis of 2008, and now faces having to pay a big part of the bill for Europe's bid to rescue Greece and other debt-ridden eurozone countries from collapse.
© 2010 AFP