Economic growth was slightly stronger than forecast last year in France, at 1.7% instead of the 1.6% previously announced, said Thursday evening INSEE in a statement. This is the second upward revision of French growth for 2018, which was initially estimated at 1.5% by the public body. The public deficit figure for 2018, however, remains unchanged at 2.5% of gross domestic product (GDP).
This upward revision "is good news for the French," nevertheless reacted to the entourage of Bruno Le Maire, in a statement sent to Agence France-Presse (AFP). "These figures and recent figures on unemployment and foreign investment show the effectiveness of our economic policy," it added. According to INSEE, the unemployment rate fell by 0.1 point in the first quarter to 8.7% of the active population in France (excluding Mayotte), its lowest level since early 2009.
French growth below the EU average
France has also made this year its entry into the "top 5" of the most attractive countries for international investment, according to the annual ranking of cabinet A. T. Kearney published Monday. The French growth figure for 2018, however, remains below the EU average of 1.9% and the euro area average of 1.8%, according to Eurostat. It is also down compared to 2017, when French growth reached 2.3% on a reported basis, 0.1 percentage point higher than what INSEE had previously announced. she said Thursday.