Stalled France economy sees return to growth

France's economy returned to growth in the third quarter of this year, expanding by 0.3 percent, after having earlier stalled, the national statistics agency said on Friday.

Stalled France economy sees return to growth
France's Economics Minister Emmanuel Macron visits a steel plant in Bonnieres-sur-Seine on Wednesday. Photo: AFP

The initial estimate of 0.3 percent quarter-on-quarter growth in gross domestic product in July to September followed no expansion in the second quarter, which had raised concerns about the nation's weak economic recovery.

Finance Minister Michel Sapin told news agency AFP that the latest figures by Insee mean that France's economy will grow “by at least 1.1 percent” for 2015 as a whole, adding he believed the country had “exited the period of extremely weak growth that had lasted too long”.

He said the French economy had entered a “new phase” which would likely mean faster growth next year.

The government's official forecast for 2016 is for the economy to expand by 1.5 percent, still a level too low to bring down the high level of unemployment in which one person in 10 has no job.


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