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French central bank forecasts first-quarter growth improving to 0.4%

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By Euronews  with Reuters
French central bank forecasts first-quarter growth improving to 0.4%

<p>France’s economy is on course to expand 0.4 percent between January and March.</p> <p>So says the <a href="https://www.banque-france.fr/en/home.html">French central bank</a> in its first forecast of <span class="caps">GDP</span> for the quarter.</p> <p>That would be a pick-up from the final three months of last year, when the eurozone’s second-biggest economy eked out <a href="http://www.euronews.com/2016/01/29/french-economy-at-walking-pace-as-spain-sprints-ahead/">growth of just 0.2 percent</a>. The economy expanded 0.3 percent in the third quarter of 2015.</p> <p>The growth estimate was included in Bank of France’s <a href="https://www.banque-france.fr/en/economics-statistics/stats-info/detail/survey-on-industry-services-construction.html">monthly business sentiment survey</a> which showed morale in the industrial sector rose to the highest level since May 2011.</p> <p>The survey results showed “car making, chemicals, electrical equipment and agri-food industries were particularly dynamic and orders picked up, including from abroad”.</p> <p>Those surveyed in the services sector said hotels and restaurants continue to suffer after the November jihadist attacks in Paris. </p> <p>Weak growth in France is putting pressure on the government’s attempts to <a href="http://www.euronews.com/2016/02/04/france-confident-on-deficit-reduction-european-commission-not-convinced/">cut the budget deficit</a>.</p>