France’s economic growth hits six-year high in 2017: Insee

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France’s economic growth was 1.9 percent in 2017, the highest economic performance since 2011, the country’s statistics institute Insee said Tuesday.

France’s 2017 gross domestic product (GDP) is better than the government’s budget draft forecast of 1.7 percent, up by eight percentage points compared to the 2016 data.

In the last three months of 2017, France’s economy expanded by 0.6 percent. This follows a growth of 0.5 percent in the third quarter and a0.6 percent increase recorded in the first and second quarters.

In its economic report, Insee attributed last year’s result to buoyant investment and boosted industry business which accelerated by 3.7 percent and 2.3 percent respectively after they had risen by 2.7 percent and 0.9 percent in 2016.

The foreign trade balance weighed down less on the GDP by -0.4 point compared to -0.8 point last year thanks to the significant increase in the country’s sales abroad to 3.5 percent over the period from 1.9 percent in 2016. Imports stood at 4.3 percent, slightly up from 4.2 percent.

As to household consumption, the figure was at 1.3 percent last year, down from 2.1 percent recorded in 2016 “because of a marked slowdown in goods,” Insee said.

For this year, Insee expected a similar positive trend. It forecasted a growth rate at 0.5 percent in the first quarter before slowing to 0.4 percent in the second quarter.

The rosy economic data may boost the French government that is considering injecting dynamism into the domestic market via controversial liberal reforms which may fuel public anger.

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