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Bank of France nudges up its third-quarter GDP growth forecast for France

Bank of France nudges up its third-quarter GDP growth forecast for France
Facade of the Bank of France "Banque de France" headquarters in Paris, France, March 12, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau   -   Copyright  CHARLES PLATIAU(Reuters)
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PARIS (Reuters) – The Bank of France on Monday slightly increased its third-quarter economic growth forecast for France, saying it now expected an expansion of 0.5 percent versus a previous forecast for 0.4 percent growth.

France, the euro zone’s second-biggest economy, has had some sluggish economic data of late, but the Bank of France said there had been generally strong industrial production and growth in the services sector in September.

The Bank of France’s survey said the business sentiment indicator for industry had risen to 105 points in September, from 103 in August. The sentiment reading for the services sector also rose to 103 in September from 102 in August.

France eked out quarterly growth of only 0.2 percent in the first two quarters of the year as strikes curbed activity, while warm spring weather kept energy spending low.

Last week, the country’s official INSEE statistics body said French economic growth would more than double to 0.5 percent in the third quarter and come in at 0.4 percent in the final three months, while tax cuts could give a further fillip.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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