France predicts 1.7 pct economic growth in 2004

7th April 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 7 (AFP) - The French government still expects economic growth of 1.7 percent this year as unemployment eases, consumption picks up and confidence returns, spokesman Jean-Francois Cope said here Wednesday.

PARIS, April 7 (AFP) - The French government still expects economic growth of 1.7 percent this year as unemployment eases, consumption picks up and confidence returns, spokesman Jean-Francois Cope said here Wednesday.

"All the elements available at present confirm a return to growth," Cope said.

He cited "a stabilisation of unemployment, a slight pick up in domestic consumption, and a rise in indicators of household and business confidence" as factors that would underpin economic growth.

France's 2004 budget was established on what was said to be the low end of a range of economists' growth forecasts, or 1.7 percent Cope said.

"Today we continue to work on this basis," he added.

Cope underscored the need for "fiscal policies that encourage hiring with lower social charges".

© AFP

                                                   Subject: French news

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