France set for firming growth in last quarter: minister

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The French economy should achieve growth of more than 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter, Economy Minister Christine Lagarde said on Monday.

Lagarde said she expected output in the last quarter to be higher than the figure for the third quarter which was 0.4 percent.

She recalled that in the first quarter, the French economy had grown by 0.2 percent and in the second by 0.7 percent.

These figures are in line with forecasts by the government that the economy will grow by 1.5 percent this year, and by the official statistics agency INSEE that growth will by 1.6 percent.

Lagarde, reappointed on Sunday as economy and finance minister, said that she remained optimistic that the economy would grow by 2.0 percent next year, thanks in part to economic reforms, as forecast by the government despite doubts by some economists.

© 2010 AFP

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