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France to return to growth in second quarter – INSEE – Metro US

France to return to growth in second quarter – INSEE

The financial and business district of La Defense near Paris
The financial and business district of La Defense near Paris

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s economy will escape from stagnation in the current quarter and eke out meagre growth, although inflation will continue to weigh on consumers, the INSEE official statistics agency forecast on Monday.

The euro zone’s second-biggest economy will return to growth in the second quarter, expanding 0.25% over the three months as parts of the service sector see business pick up after COVID restrictions were eased at the start of the year, INSEE said in its economic outlook.

The economy flatlined in the first quarter as record-high inflation sapped consumer spending, usually the driver of French growth, INSEE said last month.

With energy prices remaining high, INSEE saw no immediate relief for households from surging consumer prices, with inflation expected to rise from 4.8% in April to 5.4% in June.

(Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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