Strong finish ahead for 2006 French economy

5th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Sept 4, 2006 (AFP) - Economic growth in both France and the 12-nation eurozone is likely to be close to 2.5 percent for 2006, the governor of the French central bank said Monday.

PARIS, Sept 4, 2006 (AFP) - Economic growth in both France and the 12-nation eurozone is likely to be close to 2.5 percent for 2006, the governor of the French central bank said Monday.

"We are easily at what can be estimated as the growth potential of France, which is a little higher than two percent," said Christian Noyer, who sits on the decision-making body of the European Central Bank.

"And we will do even better for the year, we will probably be nearer 2.5 percent than two percent for the whole of the year, both in France and in the euozone," he told French television new channel LCI.

Data in August showed that the French economy grew by 1.1 percent in the second quarter of the year compared with the first, its fastest rate of expansion since 2000.

Economy and Finance Minister Thierry Breton has boasted that France is now "the model economics pupil in Europe," pointing to falling unemployment, job creation, improved industrial activity and solid consumer spending.

He repeated in August that the economy would grow by between 2.0 and 2.5 percent this year.

On Friday, official EU data showed that the eurozone economy expanded at a faster than expected annual rate in the second quarter, when the 12-nation bloc saw its best growth in over five years.

It grew 0.9 percent in the second quarter over the first quarter while growth over one year was stronger than expected at 2.6 percent, the European Union's Eurostat data agency said in a second estimate.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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