INSEE sees French economy revive in 2004
PARIS, Dec 18 (AFP) - French economic growth will accelerate next year, the uneployment rate will stay below 10 percent and the rise of the euro will be offset by strong exports, French statisics agency INSEE said in forecasts released Thursday.
It said that the French economy would attain by the end of the first half of 2004 a 12-month growth rate of 1.7 percent, the level which the government has forecast for the whole of 2004.
As a result, it was likely that French growth for 2004 would be greater than the government expected, INSEE said, forecasting a growth rate of slightly greater than two percent.
That compared with growth expected at an anemic 0.2 percent this year.
The growing global economic recovery would lift French economic activity as companies began increasing spending to meet demand after two lean years, INSEE predicted.
The recovery would help keep the unemployment rate below the psychologically important level of 10 percent of the workforce.
With unemployment stable and inflation low, households would start spending However, the euro’s ongoing rise against the dollar – it cracked the 1.24 threshold on Wednesday – could weigh on the recovery, although INSEE forecast that that would be offset by booming global trade.
Subject: France news