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France experienced its highest growth in six years in 2017, official statistics released on Tuesday showed. The government was quick to claim a Macron effect, although members of the previous government claimed the credit was theirs and the figure was slightly lower than growth for the eurozone as a whole.

French GDP grew 1.9 percent last year, according to the Insee official statistics institute, up from 1.1 percent in 2016 and the biggest rise since 2011.

Consumer spending grew 1.3 percent, despite slowing down in the third quarter.

Exports rose 3.5 percent, compared just 1.9 percent in 2016, but, with imports rising 4.3 percent, the balance of trade remained negative, knocking 0.4 percentage points off GDP, according to Insee.

Government claims credit

“This is the result of a return of households’ and businesses’ confidence since the election of the president of the republic [in May 2017], the reform measures introduced by the government as well as a favourable international environment, in particular in the eurozone,” Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire declared after the figures were announced.

He predicted that the good economic news would continue in 2018.

But Socialist Stéphane Le Foll, who was spokesman for the previous government, claimed that “all the measures that are having a concrete effect today are measures that were taken by [previous president] François Hollande“.

Le Maire “said himself that the reforms he has undertaken since the summer will have an effect in two years”, Le Foll pointed out. Read More …

 

“This is the result of a return of households’ and businesses’ confidence since the election of the president of the republic [in May 2017], the reform measures introduced by the government as well as a favourable international environment, in particular in the eurozone,” Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire declared after the figures were announced. He predicted that the good economic news would continue in 2018. But Socialist Stéphane Le Foll, who was spokesman for the previous government, claimed that “all the measures that are having a concrete effect today are measures that were taken by [previous president] François Hollande“.