French central bank forecasts 0.8% growth in first quarter
The Bank of France forecast on Tuesday the country's economy will grow by 0.8 percent in the first quarter of this year, the strongest since it exited recession in the spring of 2009.
The updated forecast, unchanged, is considerably higher than the 0.3 percent forecast by the INSEE statistics agency.
The French government targets 2.0 percent growth this year, after 1.5 percent in 2010, which most independent economists consider to be too optimistic.
The European Commission last week released an updated forecast saying growth would slow slightly in the eurozone this year, to 1.6 percent from 1.7 percent in 2010.
However, it raised its 2011 growth forecast for France to 1.7 percent from 1.6 percent.
© 2011 AFP