Recovery set to gather steam at last in France

Tim Wallace
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THE FRENCH economy should shrug off fears of stagnation, the country’s central bank predicted yesterday, forecasting growth will pick up in the final three months of the year.

The Bank of France expects growth of 0.4 per cent in the fourth quarter, accelerating from the expected 0.1 per cent growth in the third quarter.

It also released sentiment data, showing firms are confident of a recovery – its index rose to 99 in October, up from 97 a month earlier.

Economists expect the recovery to follow through into next year.

“The idea of a rebound in the last quarter builds on stronger production expectations after weak figures in the third quarter,” said Barclays’ Fabrice Montagne. “While fourth quarter numbers will not change much this year’s outcome (yet another year of GDP stagnation), they will have powerful carry over effects into 2014 as well as accelerating the stabilisation of the labour market.”