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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 July, 2004, 09:11 GMT 10:11 UK
French economic outlook improves
Arc de Triomphe, Paris
The future for France's economy may be brighter than expected
The Bank of France has said its latest business survey indicated a 0.6% growth in French GDP in the second and third quarters of this year.

That is 0.1 percentage points higher in both quarters than previously expected, making growth over nine months of 2.3%, although no yearly figure is available.

The business sentiment indicator also rose to 106 in June from 105 in May.

The French economy grew by a stronger-than-expected 0.8% in the first quarter of 2004, according to official figures.

The Bank of France surveys some 12,000 companies each month.

"Industrial activity clearly increased in June," the central bank said in a statement. "Production should continue to increase in the coming months."

Growth returning

The French economy is the second largest in the eurozone area.

On Wednesday President Jacques Chirac said economic growth was returning to the country, but not as strongly as in the United States and Asia.

Earlier this week the European Court of Justice annulled a decision by EU finance ministers to suspend action against Germany and France over budget deficits.

In May the national statistics office said the French economy was expected to grow 1.5% in 2004.


SEE ALSO:
Eurozone giants return to growth
13 Nov 03  |  Business
France escapes budget sanction
04 Nov 03  |  Business


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