The French economy’s growth surpassed estimates due to an increase in consumer spending and a recovery in business investment.
The better-than-expected figures, which augured well for the 1.5 percent target of the French government for the full year, were the latest bullish developments in the country.
A Reuters poll of 15 analysts had estimated the gross domestic product (GDP) of France to stay at the 0.5 percent that INSEE had initially reported in its preliminary estimate. With this revised data, it was only the second time within the span of 3 years that economic growth in the country came in higher than 0.5 percent.
Growth in the quarter ending in March was pushed higher by a 1.0 percent increase in consumer spending, with INSEE revising its March figure significantly upward, and a 1.6 percent surge in investment.
This great increase in domestic demand offset the bearish international trade data, which slashed 0.2 percentage points off first quarter GDP,although that was lower than the 0.6 points it shaved during the fourth quarter.
With 1.1 percent of growth carry-over at the end of the first quarter, market analysts state that the 1.5 percent target of President Francois Hollande for the full-year appears all but assured.
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