French economy rebounds in Q4: official stats

12th December 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Dec 12, 2006 (AFP) - The French economy should expand by 2.1 percent this year, thanks to a rebound in the fourth quarter, and appears likely to resist a slowdown in global momentum expected in early 2007, the national statistics institute INSEE said Tuesday.

PARIS, Dec 12, 2006 (AFP) - The French economy should expand by 2.1 percent this year, thanks to a rebound in the fourth quarter, and appears likely to resist a slowdown in global momentum expected in early 2007, the national statistics institute INSEE said Tuesday.

INSEE economist Eric Dubois said the stagnation in the French economy in the third quarter was a surprise and should be corrected by growth of 0.9 percent in the final three months of the year, powered by a pickup in the manufacturing industry.

INSEE in early October predicted French growth in 2006 of 2.3 percent while Finance Minister Thierry Breton has spoken of an expansion of between 2.0 and 2.5 percent.

In its twice-yearly forecast late last month the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development foresaw growth in France this year of 2.1 percent.

With a continuing slowdown in the United States, global economic activity is likely to decelerate in the first three months of 2007, according to INSEE.

But Dubois said a resulting decline in French export earnings should be offset by robust domestic demand as households take advantage of lower income taxes next year and a weakening in crude oil prices.

The jobless rate is expected to decline to 8.6 percent of the workforce by the end of 2006 and to 8.2 percent at the end of June next year.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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