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France headed for small rebound

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The French economy is headed for a small rebound in the third quarter after zero growth in the previous three months, the Bank of France said Monday.

[PARIS] The French economy is headed for a small rebound in the third quarter after zero growth in the previous three months, the Bank of France said Monday.

Gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow by 0.3 per cent in the current quarter, the central bank said, basing its estimates on a monthly survey of business leaders.

"This rebound concerns most sectors," the Bank said in a statement, adding however that the automobile industry was an exception, suffering from a slowdown in production.

The services sector was expanding but at a slower pace than previously, it said.

France's Insee statistics bureau last month said the French economy failed to grow at all in the second quarter, dashing government hopes for a small expansion.

The finance ministry called the flat figure "disappointing", given that Insee had predicted 0.3 per cent growth and the Bank of France 0.2 per cent.

According to Insee, 1.1 per cent growth for the full year 2016 is already in the bag, even if the third and fourth quarters turn out to show no growth.

This would, however, fall far short of forecasts by the French government, which last month stood by its 1.5 per cent growth estimate for the year.

AFP