French economy grows 1.0 pct in first quarter: official

13th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

France's economy expanded by 1.0 percent in the first quarter, the strongest growth since the second quarter of 2006, the national statistics institute INSEE said Friday.

At the same time, INSEE revised annual economic growth in 2010 down from 1.5 percent to 1.4 percent due to slower growth during the fourth quarter of last year, which was revised down from 0.4 percent to 0.3 percent.

French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde released the growth figure for the first three months of 2011 on Thursday in an interview with AFP.

"Growth in the first quarter of 2011 came in at 1.0 percent, the strongest since the second quarter of 2006," she said.

She added that she was "very confident that the (government) forecast of 2.0 percent growth for 2011 can be met."

Lagarde said the forces driving growth were "at their highest level in 30 years," especially for the manufacturing industry.

"Private investment is up, at 0.7 percent, consumption is durable and we expect a job creation of more than 50,000 in the first quarter alone," she said.

Prime Minister Francois Fillon had earlier said he expected growth for the first quarter of more than 0.8 percent, "double that in Britain and more than double the growth over the same period in the United States".

© 2011 AFP

0 Comments To This Article