The French economy expanded unexpectedly in the fourth quarter compared to the previous quarter, data from the statistical office Insee showed Wednesday.
The gross domestic product rose 0.2 percent quarter-on-quarter in the fourth quarter against economists' expectation for a 0.2 percent decline. This followed a 0.3 percent growth in the third quarter.
Over the year, GDP increased 1.7 percent after 1.4 percent growth in 2010.
Investment growth accelerated to 0.9 percent from 0.2 percent. Households' consumption expenditure slightly decelerated by the end of the year with a growth of 0.2 percent following 0.3 percent in the third quarter.
Overall, total domestic demand, excluding inventory changes, drove GDP on for 0.3 percentage point of growth after 0.2 percentage point in the previous three-month period.
Exports grew 1.2 percent quarter-on-quarter, while imports dropped 1.2 percent. Hence, foreign trade balance contributed 0.7 percentage point to GDP growth.
by RTT Staff Writer
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