France confirms no growth in second quarter
PARIS—French business activity was flat in the second quarter of 2012 compared with the first three months of the year, final data released by the national statistics office confirmed on Friday.
It marked the third consecutive quarter of stagnation for France, the second biggest eurozone economy.
If activity remains flat for the rest of the year, France would post annualized growth of 0.2 percent, the INSEE statistics office said, just below the government’s target of a 0.3 percent rise in gross domestic product (GDP).
That is also the growth forecast issued by the International Monetary Fund.
INSEE said that French household spending had been “spread out,” with a drop of 0.1 percent in the second quarter following an equivalent rise in the first, and that aggregate domestic demand had contributed only “modestly” to the overall result.
That meant an increase of just 0.1 percent, compared with a result of zero in the first quarter.
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