French economy minister upbeat on growth

16th October 2007, Comments 0 comments

16 October 2007, PARIS (AFP) - French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde expects economic growth this year to be better than expected by most economists thanks to a "solid" third quarter.

16 October 2007

PARIS (AFP) - French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde expects economic growth this year to be better than expected by most economists thanks to a "solid" third quarter.

Economy Minister Christine Lagarde

"I have no reason to doubt" that the French economy will expand by between 2.0-2.5 percent in 2007, although it would be "at the bottom end of this range," Lagarde said in an interview in Le Figaro to be published on Tuesday.

Recent data for the third quarter on industrial production, household spending and the number of new companies being created are "very encouraging," she told the daily newspaper.

"All this gives me comfort in the belief that we will have solid growth in the third quarter and which will surprise most forecasters with its strength," she said.

Earlier this month the French statistics institute INSEE cut its forecast for 2007 growth to 1.8 percent from 2.1 percent but the government has stuck to its 2.0-2.5 percent estimate.

First quarter growth was 0.6 percent and second quarter growth was 0.3 percent.

President Nicolas Sarkozy was elected in May promising to cut taxes, relax labour laws and reform France's bloated civil service in order to boost France's economic growth, one of the slowest in Europe.

AFP

Subject: French news

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