French economy grew 0.2 pct in 2003

20th February 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 20 (AFP) - The French economy grew by 0.2 percent in 2003 with a quarterly surge of 0.5 percent in the fourth quarter, data from the official INSEE statistics institute showed on Friday.

PARIS, Feb 20 (AFP) - The French economy grew by 0.2 percent in 2003 with a quarterly surge of 0.5 percent in the fourth quarter, data from the official INSEE statistics institute showed on Friday.

The data confirmed estimates published by INSEE on February 12 which led the government to suggest that theoretically they put France on course for growth of gross domestic product this year of 2.0-2.5 percent.

The government has forecast growth of 1.7 percent for this year and on Thursday Finance and Economy Minister Francis Mer said that the latest data indicated that this was likely to be achieved.

He also said that growth in 2005 might be 2.5 percent, a figure advanced by France in its financial planning submitted to EU authorities in Brussels as the likely average annual growth from 2005 to 2007.

INSEE said on Friday that growth of 0.5 percent in the fourth quarter from the third-quarter figure was driven by a rise of company investment for the first time since the first quarter of 2001.

But the growth of household consumption slipped slightly in the fourth quarter to 0.3 percent after 0.5 percent in the third quarter.

Total investment grew by 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter. Company investment rose by 0.6 percent, having been flat in the second and third quarters and having fallen in the eight previous quarters.

Exports grew by 1.0 percent in the fourth quarter after growth of 0.9 percent in the third quarter and imports grew by 2.1 percent having been flat in the third quarter.

© AFP

                                                              Subject: France news

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