Beating predictions and exceeding economic expectations. The economy in France grew at its fastest rate in nearly two years. It expanded by more than 0.6 percent in the first quarter. The growth figure is the strongest since the second quarter of 2013 when the country’s economy expanded by 0.7 percent.
Statistics last month showed consumer spending grew 1.6 percent in the first three months of the year.
Overall the economy in the eurozone grew by 0.4 percent in the first quarter. The figure was slightly below analysts expectations but for the first time in four years it grew more rapidly than the both the US and UK.
It’s also the first time in five years that all four of the bloc’s biggest economies recorded growth with Spain leading the way on 0.9 percent.
But Germany, the eurozone’s largest economy and seen as Europe’s economic powerhouse slowed more sharply than expected recording growth of 0.3 percent compered with 0.7 percent in the previous period. Analysts had predicted a figure of 0.5 percent and say the slowdown was due to a fall in exports.
The national data from the European Union’s statistics agency indicate growth was driven by a pickup in household consumption and a lesser rise in investment.
But the strength of future growth has been brought into question by the rise in oil prices and a fear the boost to growth from higher disposable incomes may be fading.