France to see first ‘real’ growth in years in 2014

France to see first 'real' growth in years in 2014
Pierre Moscovici. File photo: Eric Piermont/AFP
On Wednesday France's Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici was the bearer of welcome news when he announced that France would in 2014 experience its first year of "real" economic growth for years in 2014, predicting it to land at 0.8 percent.

The minister, speaking on RTL radio, said that after seeing a healthy growth trend in gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter and with indications it will continue throughout the year, "2014 should be the first year of real growth in three years."

He said that growth between 2007 and 2012 had been at zero.

"Our target is 0.8 percent to then reach above 1.0 percent, 1.5 percent, why not 2.0 percent in 2015 and 2016," he said.

Also on Wednesday, France's statistics institute INSEE said household consumption rose by 0.3 percent in the second quarter compared with the first three months of the year.

The rise is mainly attributable to more spending on energy and durable goods and offset a decline in food purchases.

Month-on-month however, household spending fell 0.8 percent in June compared with May, as people spent less money on energy.

The news comes almost two months after the IMF warned that France was to expect a heavier contraction of its GDP than previously estimated, but added on a positive note that household savings could buoy French demand until growth resumes by the end of 2013.  

Meanwhile, France's unemployment crisis shows no sign of abating with France's labour ministry announcing recently that the number of jobseekers in France had risen for the 26th consecutive month, setting a new record of 3.28 million in June. 

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