French growth in 2013 higher than expected
The French economy grew more than previously estimated in 2013 ... but only just. The government admitted Friday that "more has to be done".
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France's growth in 2013 was 0.3 per cent, according to statistics institute Insee, which upped its previous assessment of 0.2 per cent on the basis of a better performance than the -0.1 per cent growth it had estimated for the first and third quarters from.
The figure is also higher than the government's own estimate of 0.1 per cent but remains sufficiently feeble for ministers to refrain from gloating.
"I am not satisfied and I say 'Let's do more'," said Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici on Friday.
Growth will mean more tax revenue for the government but the level is too low to have an impact on unemployment, economists say.
"More has to be done" to "get unemployment down", Mosovici told France 2 television.
The government faces a tough fight at local council elections in March, partly because of the poor state of the economy.
The timid recovery was caused by a 0.4 per cent rise in consumer spending after a fall of the same amount in 2012, a rise in exports and in investment in the fourth quarter.
France is the second biggest economy in the eurozone, following Germany, which reported growth of 0.4 per cent in the last quarter of 2012 and 0.3 per cent in the previous one.
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