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French Finance Minister Raises Growth Forecasts

Friday, 23 March 2012
French Finance Minister Francois Baroin Thursday raised the government's 2012 growth forecast after national statistics bureau Insee updated its forecasts, indicating France will avoid recession.

The French government now forecasts gross domestic product growth of 0.7% this year after growth of 1.7% in 2011. Less than two months ago the government had halved its growth forecast to 0.5% from 1% as the effects of the debt crisis manifested themselves in the economy.
Earlier Thursday, statistics bureau Insee raised its growth forecasts for the first half of this year and said France has avoided recession.
Insee said exports and investment were better than expected at the end of 2011, and consumer spending was sustained.
Insee forecasts quarter-on-quarter growth at 0% in the first three months of the year and 0.2% in the second quarter. If achieved, no more growth would be needed in the second half of the year to reach 0.5% annual growth, the government's previous forecast.
For 2013, the French government's official forecast now stands at 1.75%, Baroin said.
News source: Dow Jones News

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