French central bank forecasts 0.4pc growth in first quarter | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 09, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 09, 2018

French central bank forecasts 0.4pc growth in first quarter

France's central bank on Thursday forecast growth of 0.4 percent for the first quarter of 2018, underlining the tentative rebound of the eurozone's second-biggest economy under President Emmanuel Macron.

The estimate from the Banque de France is the latest healthy indicator for an economy that has long been a laggard in Europe.

On Tuesday, European Union data showed France hitting its fastest growth rate in six years in 2017, expanding by 1.9 percent, driven largely by investment.

That helped feed a surge in the wider eurozone last year to 2.5 percent growth, on par with levels last seen before the financial crisis a decade ago. Macron, a 40-year-old former investment banker, has made shaking up the French economy a priority since he was elected in May.

In his first budget, the business-friendly centrist has balanced tax cuts for businesses and wealthy investors with spending cuts aimed at bringing down a high deficit.

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