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French economy surprises with 0.5% growth in second quarter

AFP
AFP - [email protected]
French economy surprises with 0.5% growth in second quarter
French Minister for the Economy and Finances Bruno Le Maire. Photo by Geoffroy VAN DER HASSELT / AFP

The French economy saw a surprisingly robust performance in the second quarter of this year, growing by 0.5 percent from the first quarter, the statistics office announced on Friday.

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The figure was well above the INSEE statistics office's own forecast of 0.1 percent growth for April to June and the expectations of analysts.

The strong performance came despite a fall in household consumption in the period as shoppers struggled with in inflation but was boosted by exports, the manufacturing industry and energy production.

The robust growth is set to be highlighted by the government of President Emmanuel Macron at a time of multiple domestic political challenges and Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire described the performance as "remarkable".

"For the first time, French growth is driven much more by exports," he told RTL. "It starts a virtuous circle where it is production that is financing our social model and redistribution."

The French economy grew 2.5 percent in 2022, keeping up with or even surpassing its European partners.

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